Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Growth of Chinese Wind Power Outpacing Coal 1,000 to 1

Competing claims about China’s energy is widely disparate in the US media, depending on whether you get your facts from the right wing rags like the WSJ, or from the actual data the industries involved publish, so I think it is instructive to compare them, to put the plans for wind next to the plans for coal in context.

Currently China gets 70% of its power from coal, much higher than the US. Year-to-date, coal-fired plants contributed 45.6%  of the power generated in the United States (EIA: October) in 2010. [Ed: as of 2012 that is expected to drop below 39%]

By 2015, China’s 1.4 billion people will get 933 Gigawatts of their power from coal, by building an additional 300 Gigawatts of coal-fired power units and putting 290 GW of coal-fired units into operation. The right seizes on this: “We can’t do anything about climate because China is building a coal plant a week!”

Yet coal will actually go down as a percentage of China’s power from 70% to 67% by 2015. How can adding more coal plants reduce the percentage of coal on the grid?

Because the ramp-up in all the renewable power in China is much faster. It is gathering steam to the point where it impacts the percentage of coal on the grid.

By 2020, wind power in China will have increased by between 500% and 1,000%.

Total wind installed was 26 Gigawatts at the end of 2009. The most conservative estimate of how much China plans to ramp that up to, is to get at least 150 Gigawatts of wind on the grid by 2020: a five-fold or 500% increase. (China Wind Power Outlook 2010 report)

A moderate estimate, assuming business as usual, by the Global Wind Energy Council, based on current incentives and laws in place, projects that China will have 230 Gigawatts of wind on the grid by 2020 (GWEC). Almost ten times what it was in 2009.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

Welcome to China × Cleantech — January 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month. Happy 牛 Year! I...


Let's explore plugin vehicle market share trends in 7 top countries with some bar charts and line graphs.


The Rise and Rise of the Wuling Mini EV.


Originally published on EV Annex. by Charles Morris China has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Tesla. Last February, every automaker was forced...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.