China: Six little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom | RenewEconomy

China: Six little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom

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China installed a wind turbine every hour and filled a football field full of solar panels every hour last year.

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The 100 kWp stand-alone solar photovoltaic power plant at Tangtse, Durbuk block, Ladakh. Located 14,500 feet AMSL in the Himalaya, the plant supplies electricity to a clinic, a school and 347 houses in this remote location, for around five hours each day.
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Energy Desk

The 100 kWp stand-alone solar photovoltaic power plant at Tangtse, Durbuk block, Ladakh. Located 14,500 feet AMSL in the Himalaya, the plant supplies electricity to a clinic, a school and 347 houses in this remote location, for around five hours each day.
The 100 kWp stand-alone solar photovoltaic power plant at Tangtse, Durbuk block, Ladakh. Located 14,500 feet AMSL in the Himalaya, the plant supplies electricity to a clinic, a school and 347 houses in this remote location, for around five hours each day.

China is installing one wind turbine an hour – according to a new analysis of the latest data on the country’s startling state-backed renewables boom.

The analysis comes as China – alongside the US – moved to ratify the Paris climate treaty.

China’s coal use fell for the second year in a row in 2015, with 2016 on track to be the third – though it remains the largest source of energy; causing an estimated 370,000 premature deaths from air pollution in 2013.

But it’s China’s use of renewable energy that is really changing.

1. Power generation from wind and solar increased more than China’s total electricity demand in 2015.

So yes, energy demand in the world’s largest economy is growing but this new data means that all new demand was covered from these sources.

In detail that means:

Electricity consumption in China rose 0.5% from 2014 to 2015, from 5522 TWh (terawatt-hours) to 5550 TWh.

At the same time, electricity generated from wind and solar sources increased by 21% and 64%, respectively, covering off the rise almost twice over.

 China-solar-and-wind-increase1

2. China’s increase in power generation from wind and solar in 2015 (48 TWh) alone was twice as large as Ireland’s entire electricity demand the previous year (24 TWh).

3. Half of all wind power capacity and almost one third of all solar PV capacity installed globally in 2015 was in China.

Solar-china

China added 31 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2015, which is equal to 10,000 large turbines, or more than one large wind turbine every hour of the year.

China-vs-Global-wind

5. The surface area of solar panels installed in China in 2015 is equal to over 10,000 football pitches. That’s more than one football pitch per hour, every hour of the year.

6 China’s targets a similar pace of wind and solar growth in its 2020 renewable energy targets. This will mean adding approximately the entire electricity demand of UK from wind and solar in just five years.

See the full dataset here.

Source: Energy Desk. Reproduced with permission.

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7 Comments
  1. Andrew Roydhouse 4 years ago

    The numbers in the article do not add up.
    Either the figures in the graphs of China v World are wrong or the claimed figures of nearly half and a third of world added capacity.
    . 43.5 as a fraction of 227 is less than 1/5 and the wind ratio is less than a third.
    . Both still impressive figures but either one or the others are wrong. It is important that we get the numbers correct and not create an opportunity for the fossil lobby to get a free kick.

    • Henry WA 4 years ago

      The figures are correct. The half and one third are added capacity in 2015
      The following figures are total installed Capacity for all years to end of 2015

      • Andrew Roydhouse 4 years ago

        Thanks for clearing that up.

  2. digicle 4 years ago

    Almost as impressive as the 3600 uteloads of black coal NSW burns each hour of every day, with no plans to change, anytime soon.

  3. Kirill Klip 4 years ago

    Great article! Thank you.

    China will surprise us all a lot in a few short years!

    Lithium Race: China Wants 3 Million Electric Cars On Road By 2025.

    http://kirillklip.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/lithium-race-china-wants-3-million.html

  4. Chris Marshalk 4 years ago

    China is more progressive than this backwards slum we call Australia. Malcolm turdballs are you reading this article?

  5. nakedChimp 4 years ago

    Just wait for it.. “Made in China” at some point will be up there with “Made in Japan” or “Made in Germany”.
    They currently run a big ‘test’ of how all this stuff works and is to be deployed on large scale, that’s experience and worth a lot in R&D and naturally down the road when selling it to others.

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