China solar, wind to attract $780bn investment by 2030


China’s wind and solar sectors could attract as much as 5.4 trillion yuan ($782 billion) in investment between 2016
and 2030 as the country tries to meet its
renewable energy targets, according to a research
report published on Tuesday.
China has pledged to increase non-fossil fuel
energy to at least 20 per cent of total consumption
by the end of the next decade, up from 12 per cent
in 2015, part of its efforts to tackle air pollution
and bring carbon dioxide emissions to a peak by
around 2030.
To do that, China would need to raise wind and
solar power’s share of primary energy
consumption to 17 per cent by 2030, up from four
per cent in 2015, according to the report, published
by environmental organisation Greenpeace and
involving research by a government institute, a
Chinese university, and other groups.
Wind and solar power could reduce fossil fuel
consumption by nearly 300 million tonnes of
standard coal a year by the end of 2030,
equivalent to France’s total primary energy
consumption in 2015, the report said, assuming
China met its targets.
In its 2016-2020 “five-year plan” for renewables,
China’s National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC) laid out a plan to raise total
wind generation capacity from 129 gigawatts
(GW) in 2015 to more than 210 GW in 2020, with
solar set to rise from 43.18 GW to 110 GW over
the same period.
Total renewable capacity, including hydropower,
would rise to 680 GW, 27 per cent of the national
total and up from around 480 GW in 2015, the
NDRC said.
The NDRC itself projected its plans would require
a total investment of 2.5 trillion yuan on solar,
wind and other renewables just over the
2016-2020 period.
However, the agency warned the country’s
electricity distribution system was still not flexible
enough to handle renewable power, and there
were still technological obstacles when it came to
connecting wind and solar to the grid, leading to
large amount of waste.
According to figures released last month by
China’s Electric Power Planning and Engineering
Institute, 49.7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind
power failed to make it to the grid in 2016, up
from 33.9 billion kWh in 2015 and amounting to
17 per cent of total wind
power generation.


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