Wind and solar power in China on track to help avoid global warming

The nation is increasing its deployment of clean energy, a move that may help thwart climate change.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Solar panels in China.jpg
Solar panels in China.


A new report by Global Energy Monitor, an independent research group whose work is often used by the World Bank, is revealing that wind and solar power growth in China may help curb global carbon emissions far faster than expected and possibly avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming.

Solar panel installations alone in the energy-greedy nation are growing at a pace that would increase global capacity by 85 percent by 2025, stated the report.

In fact, the nation’s green energy targets for 2030 currently are on track to be exceeded five years ahead of schedule, a move that would prove very beneficial to thwarting climate change.

Not all is rosy, however. Coal plants are also on the rise, partly as backup for all the new wind and solar farms.

It has been reported that China is the world's biggest consumer of coal and use of the carbon-intensive power source is responsible for around 69 percent of China's emissions of carbon dioxide.

The authors of the report offer a comprehensive look at China's current installed green energy capacity, but also make projections on what's been announced and in construction over the next two years.

The finds are impressive with China having more solar panels installed in large-scale projects than the rest of the world combined. On wind energy alone, the country has increased its capacity since 2017 by more than double.

Doubling capacity by 2025

The report also predicted that the nation will also more than double its capacity for wind and solar by the end of 2025.

To achieve this, China would increase its global wind turbine fleet by 50 percent and its solar installations by 85 percent.

"We believe that the surge in building renewables certainly provides a basis for peaking [China's] carbon emissions earlier than 2030," told the BBC Martin Weil, one of the report's authors.

Now, all the nation has to do is curb its coal use. That, however, remains a challenge.

In 2022, China was reported to have built two new coal fired power stations every week most notably to provide back up power for solar and wind intermittency and to ensure continuity of energy supply when clean energy sources are not working.

"The big issue going forward is how will these coal plants actually be deployed," Weil added.

"One hopes that they're deployed in a way that that puts the ratio of renewables to coal as high as possible."

Just five days ago, we reported how China is installing the world's largest wind turbine enough to power 25,000 households.

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