- Solar Power Surpasses Coal in China’s Energy Landscape
- Growth of Solar Power in China
- Drought Affects Hydroelectric Power Generation
- Government Initiatives to Address Climate Change
- Coal Production and Usage in China
China’s Solar Capacity Surpasses Coal, Growing at Rapid Rate
According to a recent report, China’s solar power capacity has now reached twice the capacity of coal power. The country is experiencing significant growth in solar energy, with a year-on-year increase of 33.7%, demonstrating its commitment to renewable energy development.
Solar Power Surpasses Coal in China’s Energy Landscape
The China Electricity Council, a state-approved nonprofit national trade association, released its first-quarter report on the “Operational Situation of the Electric Power Industry.” The report reveals that China’s installed power generation capacity as of the end of March was 2.62 billion kilowatts, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.1%. Notably, solar power now surpasses coal power in terms of capacity.
Growth of Solar Power in China
The report highlights that the installed capacity of non-fossil fuel energy power generation in China was 1.33 billion kilowatts, marking a year-on-year increase of 15.9%. This non-fossil fuel energy accounted for 50.5% of the total installed capacity, a significant rise of 3 percentage points compared to the previous year.
Specifically, solar power generation in China reached 430 million kilowatts during the first quarter. This includes both photovoltaic power generation (42,522 kilowatts) and solar thermal power generation (670,000 kilowatts). The 33.7% year-on-year growth in solar power capacity showcases the remarkable progress made in expanding clean energy sources.
Drought Affects Hydroelectric Power Generation
China has been grappling with a drought in the southern part of the country since the middle of last year. This has led to a depletion of reservoirs and rivers, negatively impacting hydroelectric power generation. The report states that hydroelectric power experienced an -8.3% year-on-year decline in the first quarter of 2023 due to the water shortage.
Government Initiatives to Address Climate Change
While renewable energy is rapidly growing in China, the government has also taken steps to address the challenges posed by climate change. In the short term, the authorities have provided support to coal power to meet the immediate energy needs caused by the hydroelectric power shortfall.
To ensure sufficient coal supply, the Chinese government has encouraged coal miners to maximize production and coal-fired generators to stockpile fuel. Coal mine production increased by +98 million tonnes (+5.4%) in the first five months of 2023, aligning with the rise in thermal generation (+6.6%), as reported by Reuters.
Coal Production and Usage in China
Despite the growth in renewable energy, coal still plays a significant role in China’s energy landscape. As of the first quarter, the installed capacity of coal-fired power generation stands at 1.13 billion kilowatts, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 1.8%. This underscores the ongoing reliance on coal to meet the country’s energy demands.
In conclusion, China’s solar power capacity has now surpassed coal power, showcasing remarkable progress in the renewable energy sector. Despite challenges posed by drought and the need to address short-term energy requirements, the Chinese government remains committed to promoting clean energy sources while also supporting coal power production. The shift toward renewable energy reflects China’s efforts to combat climate change and transition towards a more sustainable future.