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China Doubles Down On Renewables Expansion

China is requiring its top power companies and local authorities to update the government monthly on the progress they are making with building and installing renewable energy capacity as Beijing looks to meet its clean energy targets.

China, which has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, a decade later than most other countries with net-zero targets, wants to have as much as 1,200 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind capacity installed by 2030, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in December 2020. As of end-2020, China’s wind power generation capacity was 281.5 GW and its solar capacity was 253.4 GW, according to official data cited by Reuters.

China also looks to boost the share of non-fossil fuel energy sources in its primary consumption to 25 percent by 2030, up from a target of a 15-percent share for 2020. 

So, the National Energy Administration of China now issued a new requirement on Thursday, in which it wants power giants and local governments to report monthly how much new wind and solar capacity is being approved and built, Bloomberg reports.

China was once again the world’s largest market in renewable investment in the first half of 2021, investing $45.5 billion in the six months to June 30, according to the Renewable Energy Investment Tracker of research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) published this week. Chinese investment, however, was down by 20 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

Amid all the renewables push in China and globally, Beijing is not giving up on coal for power generation.

China—the world’s biggest carbon emitter—commissioned more coal-fired capacity last year than the rest of the world retired, a report led by Global Energy Monitor (GEM) found showed earlier this year. China’s coal boom in 2020 more than offset the retirements in coal capacity in the rest of the world, leading to the first increase in global coal capacity development since 2015, the report found.

By Charles Kennedy For Oilprice.com

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