Renewable Energy Infrastructure
The Rapid Growth Of Renewable Power Generation Capacity
Data from National Energy Administration shows that the installed capacity of renewable energy power generation has achieved rapid growth. By the end of 2020, the cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy power generation in China reached 930 GW, accounting for 42.4% of the total cumulative installed capacity, an increase of 14.6% over 2012. Among them: the installed capacity of hydropower power is 370 GW, wind power is 280 GW, solar photovoltaic power is 250 GW, biomass power is 29.52 GW, all rank No.1 in the world.
In 2020, renewable energy power generation reached 2.2 million Gigawatt hour (GWh), accounting for 29.5% of the total electricity consumption in China, an increase of 9.5% from 2012, which beats the target that non-fossil fuel consumption accounts for 15% of primary energy consumption in 2020.
Renewable power technologies like solar and wind have reached and surpassed cost competitiveness thresholds. In 2021, solar photovoltaics power and wind power generation will achieve grid parity in most parts of the country. As a result of sustained innovation, electricity from a new power plants using renewable technologies is now usually the least-cost option.
Solar photovoltaics power plant
China is home to most of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar photovoltaics, 7 of the global top 10 solar module producers are from China. China supplies 58% of silicon, 93% of silicon wafers, 75% of solar cells, and 73% of solar modules to the global market. The integrated manufacturing of the entire industry chain has strongly promoted the continuous decline of solar photovoltaic power generation costs. In the past 10 years, the average cost of solar photovoltaic power generation projects has dropped by about 75%.
China has installed more solar power than any other country. In 2019, China’s cumulative solar photovoltaic installed capacity and power generation are both the Top 1 in the world.
Opportunity window for China solar energy infrastructure. The “5.31” policy released in 2018 focused on “controlling scale and reducing subsidies” had a huge impact on the solar photovoltaic market, but as the impact of the New policy fades, we believe that huge opportunities have emerged in the market.
New models of solar energy infrastructure in China continue to emerge. China has promoted new business models such as agricultural – solar hybrid project, fishery-solar hybrid project, and animal husbandry – solar hybrid project in the past few years. China is now accelerating the deep integration of renewable energy with traditional industries such as construction, transportation, and industry.
Wind power plant
China is the largest producer of wind turbines in the world. More than 90% of domestic wind power installed capacity uses domestic wind turbines. Meanwhile, low-speed wind technology is also world-leading. Same as solar photovoltaic, the integrated manufacturing of the entire industry chain has strongly promoted the continuous decline of wind power generation costs. In the past 10 years, the average cost of wind power generation projects has dropped by about 30%.
China has installed more wind power than any other country. Newly wind power installed capacity reached approximately 72 million kw last year, accounting for more than 60% of global newly wind power installed capacity.
Look into the future
On 30 March 2021, on China’s renewable energy development press conference, National Energy Administration estimated that the cumulative installed capacity of solar and wind energy power to reach the goal of 1200 GW in 2030, 2 times the current installed capacity, and in the next 5 years, will continue to strengthen the construction of renewable energy power generation and cross-regional transmission capacity, at the same time, promote the distributed renewable energy power generation, especially in the central and eastern regions.
A report from Goldman Sachs shows renewable power generation acts as a major contributor to both investments and job creation associated with a path consistent with net-zero emissions in China. Goldman Sachs estimates that there exists in aggregate a USD 16 trillion investment opportunity across sectors on the path to net-zero China by 2060, and renewable power generation accounts for 34.38% with a number of USD 5.5 trillion. As the growth in renewable power accelerates, the intraday and seasonal variability of the renewable power generations has to be addressed through energy storage solutions. Goldman Sachs expects utility-scale batteries for energy storage to surpass 400 GW by 2060.