China’s cumulative installed capacity of new energy power generation is anticipated to surpass that of coal for the first time this year, according to the China Electricity Council. The optimistic outlook is attributed to an optimized power supply capacity and an accelerated transition to green energy sources.
During a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday, the China Electricity Council projected a 12 percent year-on-year increase in nationwide installed electricity generation capacity, reaching 3.25 billion kilowatts by the end of the year. Nonfossil fuel energy sources are expected to contribute significantly, with an estimated 1.86 billion kilowatts, constituting around 57 percent of the total.
Solar power capacity is projected to reach 780 million kilowatts, closely followed by wind power at 530 million kilowatts. The combined installed capacity of wind and solar power is poised to exceed that of coal-fired electricity, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the total installed capacity.
Analysts emphasize the urgent need for infrastructure development and strategic planning to seamlessly integrate clean energy into existing grid infrastructure, given the increasing share of renewable energies in national power consumption.
Lin Boqiang, the head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, underscores the importance of a strategic approach to energy consumption, focusing on grid optimization and storage solutions to accommodate the surge in installed capacity of renewable energy.
The expected growth in electricity demand is driven by the overall recovery of China’s economy, with a projected power consumption of 9.8 trillion kilowatt-hours this year, marking a 6 percent year-on-year increase, as per the council’s estimates.
The electrification of residential and transport sectors, along with a notable expansion in the data center sector, is anticipated to support this growth in electricity demand, according to Dong Zengbo, deputy head of the council’s statistics and data center.
To ensure sufficient green power consumption in the country, the China Electricity Council emphasizes the necessity of stepping up cross-province power transmission capacity and grid construction.
China’s electricity consumption, a key economic activity indicator, witnessed a 6.7 percent year-on-year increase, reaching 9.22 trillion kilowatt-hours in the previous year. Power consumption in primary industries rose by 11.5 percent, while the secondary and tertiary sectors saw increases of 6.5 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively. Residential power usage experienced a mild uptick of 0.9 percent to 1.35 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to the council.