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January 22, 2021
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End of the year wrap-up: five figures show China’s renewable energy growth in 2019

1. China’s installed power generation capacity is expected to reach about 2 billion KW by the end of 2019

According to data released by the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, as of the end of 2018, overall installed power capacity in China stood at 1,900 GW, an increase of 119,860 MW or 6.7 per cent compared with that in 2017. By the end of 2019, China’s installed power generation capacity is expected to reach some 2,000 GW, a year-on-year increase of 6 percent, according to the China Electricity Council (CEC).

2. China’s total installed hydropower capacity is expected to reach 360 GW by the end of 2019

As of the end of 2018, China’s total installed hydropower capacity had reached 352.3 GW. By the end of 2019 the figure is expected to reach 360 GW.

3. On-grid wind power capacity is expected to reach 210 GW by year end

According to CEC, the country’s on-grid wind power capacity is expected to reach 210 GW, increasing from 184 GW a year earlier.

4. PV power capacity is expected to reach 200 GW by year end

At the end of 2018, China’s total PV power capacity stood at 174 GW, and by the end of this year, the figure is expected to reach 200 GW.

5. Total on-grid biomass power capacity is expected to reach 22 GW by the end of 2019

At the end of 2018, China’s total on-grid biomass power capacity stood at 17.8 GW, and the figure is expected to grow to 22 GW by the end of 2019, according to CEC.

Analysis

The developing trends across the renewable energy industry in China in the last 12 months show that hydropower remains the dominant energy source in the country’s renewable energy system, followed by wind and PV. Biomass power and geothermal power capacity has also been growing in recent years, albeit from a much smaller base.

China has become the leader worldwide in terms of installed capacity and consumption of renewable energy, with wind power capacity accounting for one third of the world’s total and PV power capacity accounting for one fourth.

“China’s installed wind power capacity doubled in the past four years, from 96 GW to 184 GW at the end of last year, while installed PV capacity tripled from 25 GW to 174 GW,” said Shi Yubo, former Vice Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and Executive Vice Chairman of the China Energy Research Society, at the 2019 International Clean Energy Financing and Investment Conference. “In general, the development of wind and PV power in our country is on the fast track.”

Based on the fast growth, investment in renewable energy has a promising future. China has spent more on clean energy infrastructure than the United States and the European Union combined. Despite the country’s huge demand for fossil fuels, investment in low-carbon power generation and clean energy technologies is expected to exceed US$6 trillion over the next 20 years.

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