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China Leads the Way in Wind and Solar Capacity Expansion

China continues to be the undisputed global leader in solar and wind capacity installations as it is currently constructing twice as much renewables power capacity as the rest of the world combined, think tank Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said in a new report on Thursday.  

As many as 180 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar and another 159 GW of wind power are currently under construction in China—enough capacity to power all of South Korea, the authors of the research noted.  

The 339 GW of utility-scale solar and wind capacity that have reached the construction stage accounts for one-third of all proposed wind and solar capacity in China. This is vastly exceeding the global rate of just 7% of proposed projects that have started construction, according to GEM’s latest Global Solar Power Tracker and Global Wind Power Tracker updates. 

China now accounts for nearly two-thirds of all solar and wind power capacity in construction in the world. The second-largest capacity fleet under construction is in the United States, but at 40 GW, it is dwarfed by China. 

Over the last year, China installed more solar than it had in the previous three years combined, and more than the rest of the world combined for 2023, GEM said in the research. 

In 2023, renewable energy generation capacity in China surpassed 50% of the total—a milestone which China expected to achieve by 2025.

While China is the world’s largest investor in wind and solar, it is also investing heavily in hydropower and hydrocarbons as it pursues an “all of the above” approach to energy supply. 

China continues to rely on coal and coal-fired power generation to meet its growing power demand, and despite being the world’s top investor in solar and wind capacity, it also plans a lot of new coal-fired electricity capacity.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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