China's Wind And Solar Energy Capacity Is Soaring

China's Wind and Solar Energy Capacity Is Soaring

Smog-filled days may be a part of life in Beijing for now, but China is cutting coal and growing its wind and solar energy capacity fast, according to figures released yesterday by the country's National Bureau of Statistics. Solar power generation capacity was up 74 per cent in China last year compared with 2014 levels, while wind power generation capacity grew by 34 per cent. "China's official 2015 wind installations are an all-time global record of 32.5 gigawatts," Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis told New Scientist."China itself is the only nation to have come anywhere near this, delivering 20.7 gigawatts of new wind capacity in 2014."

At the same time, China's coal consumption dropped by 3.4 per cent. Overall, wind, solar, nuclear power, natural gas and hydropower now account for nearly 20 per cent of the world's largest carbon polluter's energy mix.

The news adds weight to China's recent, bold claim that it will cut power sector carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2020 — a goal that puts the US Clean Power Plan to shame. But perhaps more importantly, by pushing clean energy, China is sending a signal to the world that validates the goals of the Paris climate agreement. It was a historic moment last December, when leaders of 195 countries agreed to wean their nations off fossil fuels. But their agreement was built largely on trust — and since then, the resolve of at least one large carbon emitter has wavered.

As US presidential candidates continue to deny the reality of climate change, China may end up leading the world into the inevitable energy future.

[New Scientist]

Image Credit: Jondaar_1/Flickr


Comments

    Pollution in China is out of control. The leaders know this, they see this and breath this every day they are in Beijing. Now that Renewables are pretty much on a par with fossil fuels, cost wise, there is no reason at all for this to not happen and quickly. And that's without even factoring in Climate Change. It will be tricky balancing renewables with power demand peaks and troughs but it's not impossible.

      There is one major issue and that is energy storage. Battery effectiveness needs to increase by a factor of 10 to make it viable. Hoping for a miracle breakthrough in this area would be unwise considering our current tech is only 3x better than the lead chemistry batteries Edison was using 100 years ago.

      There are a number of developing technologies being worked on at the moment and hard to say which is going to change the game. I'm particularly interested in artificial photosynthesis that has the possibility to turn carbon emissions into a fuel source using nano particles and bacteria. Time will tell.

        Electricity + CO2 +H2O = Hydrocarbons

        Just read this. Very interesting http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/base-load-power-a-myth-used-to-defend-the-fossil-fuel-industry-96007

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