Friday 09 Jun 2023
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(Jan 3): China is aiming to install more clean power in the course of 13 months than India and Japan have ever built combined.

The massive spending on renewables comes at Beijing races to meet climate targets and reduce dependence on pricey foreign fuel.

It aims to have 430 gigawatts of wind and 490 gigawatts of solar power by year-end, the National Energy Administration said in a roadmap released on Saturday. That will be 118 gigawatts of new solar over end-November levels, and 79 extra gigawatts of wind.

The clean energy spree is nothing new for China, which has by far the world’s largest renewable power fleet. That hasn’t stopped it from continuing to be the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, however, burning and mining more than half of the world’s coal.

China still likely generated more power from fossil fuels last year than in 2021 despite record renewable installations, due in large part to an historic drought over summer that sapped hydropower.

The solar industry in particular is especially optimistic about 2023. Developers had already broken the country’s annual installation record by the end of November, and an even bigger leap is expected this year after equipment prices began to fall last month following a rare period of cost inflation due to supply chain bottlenecks.

China is planning to build 2.9 gigawatts of nuclear power this year, on top of the 55.5 gigawatts online at the end of November, according to the energy roadmap. It aims to increase hydropower capacity to 423 gigawatts from 410 gigawatts at end-November.

Asia’s largest economy is also looking to ramp up oil and gas production. It’s targeting increases of around 3% this year for both natural gas and crude output.

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