According to the China Electricity Council (CEC), the wind and solar capacity in China will surpass that of coal in 2024 for the first time, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s pursuit of clean energy.
By the end of the year, solar and wind will account for about 40% of China’s total installed power generation capacity. Coal, meanwhile, is projected to account for 37% of capacity, the CEC’s annual report shows.
In 2023, this percentage stood at 36% for wind and solar, and under 40% for coal. However, it’s important to note that coal remained dominant in 2023 when it comes to power generation, accounting for almost 60% of the electricity used. The CEC report does not project numbers for power generation in 2024.
Impressively, China is expected to achieve its 2030 target for wind and solar capacity at the end of this year already. It’s expected to build around 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind capacity in 2024; the country’s 2030 target: 1,200 GW.
This milestone not only accelerates China’s green energy ambitions but also underscores a significant shift in the country’s energy landscape.
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Anticipating a 6% growth in electricity consumption this year, the CEC emphasizes the importance of addressing power supply challenges during peak demand seasons. To mitigate potential shortages, the report recommends measures, like time-of-use pricing, to regulate consumption during winter heating and summer cooling periods.
The CEC calls upon the government to implement a capacity payment system swiftly, incentivizing the adoption of battery storage and other innovative energy storage technologies, as well as to expedite the construction of pumped hydro storage facilities to further enhance energy storage capabilities.
As China leads the charge in transitioning towards cleaner energy sources, this development signals a paradigm shift in global efforts to combat climate change. The forecasted triumph of wind and solar over coal underscores China’s ability to achieve results, and do so more quickly than anticipate.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — Featured Photo Credit: Sander Weeteling.