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China will begin monitoring how closely provinces stick to clean energy targets set by the central government, Bloomberg reports, citing a statement by the National Development and Reform Commission.
The country has increased its renewable energy generation target for this year to 28.2 percent of the total, with 10.8 percent to come from non-hydropower sources. This would be up by a modest 0.7 percentage points from 2019.
Last month, China’s Xinhua reported that renewable energy generation had risen steadily during the first quarter of the year, with capacity up by 8.4 percent from the first quarter of 2019 to 802 million kW. Electricity output from renewable sources, the national Energy Administration said, reached 392.34 billion kWh, up by 3.84 million kWh from a year earlier.
Now, the National Development and Reform Commission has set individual targets for each Chinese province except Tibet, which already generates most of the electricity it needs from renewable sources.
Interestingly, Beijing plans to boost solar and wind capacity this year, after last year it slashed subsidies for these two renewable energy streams. Beijing had said earlier this year it will only approve new solar and wind power installations if their developers can prove the energy they generate is as cheap as that generated in coal-fired power plants.
Plans to add some 85.1 GW of solar and wind capacity this year suggests costs of solar and wind projects have fallen sufficiently to compete with coal-fired power plants. Of this total, solar will account for 48.45 GW and wind will account for 35.1 GW.
Meanwhile, Chinese solar businesses are struggling with falling prices for their products and services as the pandemic delays and cancels projects around the world. This, according to Bloomberg could result in sector consolidation and a new solar boom once the crisis is over, spurred by the low prices.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
In 2019, renewables accounted for 6% or 185 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) of China’s primary energy consumption.
China’s pursuit of renewable energy is motivated by the urgent need to tackle environmental pollution, the security of its energy needs and innovation.
Electricity generation from renewables reached 392 billion kWh in 2019, up by 3.84 million kWh from a year earlier according to the National Energy Administration.
And with costs of solar and wind projects falling sufficiently to compete with coal-fired power plants, China plans to add some 85.1 GW of solar and wind capacity this year with solar accounting for 48.45 GW (58%) and wind will account for 35.1 GW (42%).
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London