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More Than Half Of China’s Power Capacity Is Now Non-Fossil Fuels  

China has reached its goal to have more non-fossil fuel installed electricity capacity than fossil fuels earlier than planned, with 50.9% of its power capacity coming from non-fossil fuel sources now, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.

Back in 2021, the Chinese authorities said they would target renewables to outpace fossil fuel-installed capacity by 2025.  

China is unmatched in renewable energy spending globally, investing in raising its solar and wind power capacity.  

China’s wind and solar power generation has jumped in recent years to nearly equal domestic residential electricity consumption, but the relatively small share of household demand in overall consumption means that China still needs a lot of fossil fuels.

In 2022, China’s wind and solar power output surged by 21% to 1,190 terawatt-hours (TWh), according to data from NEA cited by Bloomberg. To compare, residential electricity demand last year rose by 14% to 1,340 TWh as people mostly stayed at home due to the zero-Covid policy. 

Despite the surge in Chinese wind and solar power installations and generation, the Chinese industry accounts for around 60% of all electricity demand, according to Bloomberg’s estimates. Residential demand, on the other hand, was just 17% of electricity consumption in 2020.

Last year, as global investment in the low-carbon energy transition totaled $1.1 trillion and equaled the investments in fossil fuel supply, China was the leading country for attracting energy transition investment, accounting for $546 billion or nearly half of the global total, research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF) said earlier this year.

The second-largest low-carbon energy investment was in the United States, which was a distant second at $141 billion, while all such investments in the EU reached $180 billion in 2022.

China also dominated the supply chain and manufacturing investments in clean energy, accounting for 91% of manufacturing investments in 2022.

“From a supply chain diversification point of view, the picture has not changed much. China is investing by far the most in building out its clean energy supply chain, and it remains to be seen if other regions can capture significant market share,” said Antoine Vagneur-Jones, BNEF’s Head of Trade and Supply Chains research.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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