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China Aims To Ramp Up Remarkable Solar And Wind Ambitions

China has plans to boost the share of solar and wind power in its energy mix to 11 percent of total electricity output this year, Reuters has reported, citing a draft rule prepared by the National Energy Administration.

China has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions status in 2060 and is targeting peak emissions by 2030. To hit this target, according to the NEA draft rule, the country will need to boost its solar and wind generation capacity each year over the next five years, so the two can reach a share of 16.5 percent of total output by 2025.

Goals are even more ambitious in terms of installed capacity: NEA has set 2025 as the year when hydro, biomass, solar, and wind should reach 50 percent of installed generation capacity. That would be up from 42.4 percent now, Argus reported earlier this month.

Last year, China generated 29.5 percent of the electric energy it consumed from renewable sources, including hydro and biomass. Hydropower accounted for 61 percent of this total.

According to a Wood Mackenzie report, China will need to invest $6.4 trillion in new power generation capacity to reach its 2060 carbon-neutral goal. Additionally, it will need to achieve a 75% increase in electricity demand to replace fossil fuels to meet that goal.

Despite these ambitions, China is building new coal power plants. Last year, the country started constructing more coal plants than the rest of the world retired. As a result, 2020 saw the first increase in global coal-fired generation capacity since 2015.

China commissioned 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal plants in 2020, offsetting the record-tying 37.8 GW of coal capacity retired last year, the report showed. It also has 88.1 GW of coal power under construction. Another 158.7 GW is proposed for construction. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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