February 1, 2024
BEIJING – China’s cumulative installed capacity of new energy power generation is expected to surpass that of coal for the first time this year, amid optimized power supply capacity and accelerated transition to green energy sources, the China Electricity Council said.
Nationwide, installed electricity generation capacity is projected to rise 12 percent year-on-year to 3.25 billion kilowatts by the end of this year, with that of nonfossil fuel energy sources likely to reach 1.86 billion kW, constituting an increased share of around 57 percent of the total, said the council during a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
Solar power capacity is projected to reach 780 million kW by the end of this year, followed by wind power at 530 million kW. The installed capacity of wind and solar power will exceed that of coal-fired electricity and account for about 40 percent of the total installed capacity, it said.
An analyst said the increasing share of renewable energies in the national power consumption underscores the urgent need for infrastructure development and strategic planning to facilitate the seamless incorporation of clean energy into existing grid infrastructure.
The surge in installed capacity of renewable energy necessitates a strategic approach to energy consumption, with focus on grid optimization and storage solutions, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.
Driven by the overall recovery of the country’s economy, China is likely to experience robust growth in electricity demand this year, with power consumption on course to reach 9.8 trillion kilowatt-hours this year, up 6 percent year-on-year, the council said.
The growth in electricity demand will be supported by the ongoing electrification of the residential and transport sectors, as well as a notable expansion of the data center sector, said Dong Zengbo, deputy head of the council’s statistics and data center.
The council said it is necessary to step up cross-province power transmission capacity while stepping up grid construction, to ensure sufficient green power consumption in the country.
China’s electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, rose to 9.22 trillion kWh last year, up 6.7 percent year-on-year, amid economic recovery, said Dong.
Last year, power consumption by primary industries increased by 11.5 percent, while power consumption by secondary and tertiary sectors rose by 6.5 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively. Residential power usage saw a mild increase of 0.9 percent to 1.35 trillion kWh, the council said.