Published on November 19th, 2014 | by James Ayre27
China Aiming To Install 1,300 MW Of New Renewable Energy Capacity A Week
November 19th, 2014 by James Ayre
China’s renewable energy ambitions are starting to become more clear thanks to a number of recent announcements — perhaps the most important takeaway of this new clarity is the revelation that the government there is aiming to install roughly 1300 MW of new renewable energy capacity a week, in order to meet the country’s goal of getting 20% of its electricity via renewables by 2030.
The main thing to keep in mind when thinking about those figures is that that’s roughly the same amount of new generating capacity as provided by the coal power plants that China has been installing rapidly over the last few years. Sort of gives a kick in the ass to those who claim that we shouldn’t be investing in renewables but rather into new coal plants, doesn’t it?
That, when taken along with the fact that China has actually been cutting back on coal imports, makes it pretty clear that the leadership there thinks that renewables are a good bet — lowering exposure to the volatile fossil fuel markets and improving energy security, as well as reducing pollution (which is a big issue in China).
The 1300 MW a week (averaged out) figure comes to us via the recent “climate deal” between China and the US — which calls for the country to receive at least 20% of its electricity from renewable energy generation by 2030. Based on today’s numbers and projections of energy needs, in order to reach that goal, roughly 1300 MW of renewables capacity will have to be installed in the country per week for the next 15 years.
Whatever your thoughts may be on the new climate deal (important, fluff, too little too late, etc), the willingness to publicly commit to the deal certainly does seem to say something about the country’s intentions with regard to renewables. Full steam ahead — so to speak.
For its part, the investment bank HSBC apparently regards the deal as being a “momentous” one — noting that the three largest carbon emitters in the world (the US, China, and the EU) have now all set significant reduction pledges.
Whether or not these pledges will be honored, and whether or not they are even aggressive enough to limit severe climate disruptions and thus societal disruptions remains an open question for now, though.
It is worth noting that China has managed to meet and exceed many previous goals — such as the goal to possess 100 GW of wind energy capacity by 2015 and its solar energy capacity goals (which increased several times in the course of just a few years) — so its word does seem to count for something.
Image Credit: Flag of China on Yangtze River via Shutterstock.