Two-thirds of Global Wind and Solar Projects Under Construction Are in China

is currently spearheading the global expansion of utility-scale wind and solar projects, accounting for 64% of the total under construction worldwide, a report from the U.S.-based Global Energy Monitor revealed on Thursday. This massive initiative, totaling 339 gigawatts (GW), dwarfs the efforts of the United States, which ranks a distant second with 40 GW in its project pipeline.

The rapid pace of China's deployment not only positions it well to achieve the global target of tripling renewable capacity by 2030 but also suggests the country may surpass its own targets well ahead of schedule. According to analysts, Beijing is set to meet its goal of installing 1,200 GW of wind and solar power by the end of this month, a significant milestone achieved six years earlier than planned, as reported by the Sydney-based Climate Energy Finance.

Despite these advancements, China's transition to renewables presents challenges, particularly in integrating the new capacity into its coal-dominated grid. Aiqun Yu, analyst at Global Energy Monitor, highlighted the urgent need for expanded transmission to accommodate the surge in renewable generation.

Recent data underscores the shifting dynamics in China's energy landscape, with coal's contribution to generation hitting a record low of 53% in May, while non-fossil fuel sources reached a record high of 44%, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. Solar and wind power contributed 12% and 11% respectively, marking substantial gains due to increased capacity additions.

The notable increase in renewable energy generation has already started to yield environmental benefits, with carbon dioxide emissions from China's power sector dropping by 3.6% in May compared to the previous year. Analysts predict that if current trends in wind and solar deployment continue, 2023 could potentially mark the peak year for China's carbon emissions.

However, challenges persist, including variations in wind conditions affecting wind power utilization and limitations in accurate reporting of solar generation due to excluded rooftop installations. Despite these hurdles, the ongoing expansion of renewable energy signals a pivotal shift in China's energy strategy towards sustainability and reduced carbon emissions.


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