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Published on January 18th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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China Got Over 1/4 of Its Electricity from Clean Energy in 2010



Yes, 26.53% of electricity generated in China in 2010 was from clean energy according to a new report out by the China Electricity Council (CEC).

Total installed power capacity increased 10.07% to 962 GW in 2010 and electricity consumption grew 14.56%, reaching over 4.19 trillion kWh. The portion of that provided by clean energy grew by about 1%.

Hydropower provided a huge portion of China’s electricity, 213.4 GW (up from 196 GW in 2009). Wind power increased a ton, almost doubling and reaching 31.07 GW. Nuclear power increased a little from 9 GW to 10.82 GW.

Reportedly, due to its clean energy increases and its interest in reducing its carbon emissions, China shut down a number of fossil-fuel power plants. In total, output from such plants was cut about 11 GW.

By 2015, China is hoping to have about 1/3 of its power capacity coming from clean energy sources, even with the goal of increasing total capacity to 1440 GW.

Related Stories:

1. Wow, China IS Serious About Clean Energy!
2. China Adding 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Power by 2020!
3. World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Begun by China

Photo Credit: Steve Webel

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • http://wvoutpost.com WV Treehugger

    Let’s not forget that have taken over 1/2 if not more of US jobs also. A US Solar panel maker just laid off over 200 workers and are moving to China. I’m all for clean energy in any country but when it takes our jobs,it upsets me.

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, the businesses have to be practical, though. Until the U.S. creates a more clean-energy-supportive economy, China is going to inevitably pull some jobs. It is going so much faster to promote clean energy.

  • Pingback: U.S. Poised for Wind and Solar Power Boom – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views

  • Larry Le Due

    This is another classic example of China “cooking the books”. What a load of pure BS ! China tells its people what to do, how to do it and when to do it and now are telling you what they want you to believe. Pure bunk ! What about the install rate of one new coal fired power plant every week ? You do the math on how much RE it takes to equal 25% of this polluting source. Maybe they think you belive in “clean coal” as RE.

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Larry Le Due: while China may be increasing its coal usage, it is clearly steaming ahead in regards to clean energy. you don’t need to see a report to know it, they have plenty of real-world humungo projects. the data (assuming it is fairly accurate) is interesting to look at, though.

  • sola

    Impressive transformation.

    I hope they keep up this pace and reach the 33% ratio in 2015.

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      yeah, same here.

  • http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/ Bill Hewitt

    I’m delighted, as we all should be, that China is serious about renewable energy. Their progress on wind and solar is breathtaking. Some caveats, though: I would hesitate to call nuclear renewable and it’s most certainly not clean. (http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/category/nuclear-power/) As to big hydro, it’s renewable – if the water doesn’t run out when the Himalayas melt – but there are any number of environmental concerns, including habitat loss, the production of massive amounts of methane, mercury migrating into fish, etc. (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-hydroelectric-energy.html#Environmental_Concerns)

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      thanks for the extra comments, Bill. i definitely have my hesitations about both as well

  • Anthony

    Come on, everyone knows that you simply just cannot believe what the Chinese government says……well, at least every Chinese knows that…

  • Dukejohns

    The majority of China’s “clean energy” seems to be coming from hydroelectric power. This means dams to create the water power to generate this electricity. There seems to be not concern with the hardships this has created for the Chinese people and the towns/cities destroyed by the water back-up. I realize that clean energy is going to require a lot of changes if it is going to work, but we also need to be mindful of the human costs involved also.

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Dukejohns, good additional points. I think the main issue these days is climate change, since that will create hardships like we’ve never seen if not at least slowed soon. But your point that there are other problems caused by hydro that need to be considered and addressed is an important one

  • Freebeazy

    What are the odds that these numbers are accurate? China isn’t really known for their honest reporting, which invariably comes from a non-third party government agency.

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