The China Electricity Council (CEC) predicted the country is expected to use six to seven per cent more electricity in 2021. Last year, China used 7.51 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power – an increment of 3.1 per cent from 2019.
Since there is additional demand for power, the council expects China to add 180 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation in 2021, pushing its capacity to 2,370 GW – a 7.7 per cent hike from 2020.
By the end of 2021, total installed non-fossil fuel capacity is projected to reach 1,120 GW, with approximately 140 GW being added this year, representing 47.3 per cent of China’s energy mix.
In response to President Xi Jinping’s commitment to add 1,200 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2030 and bring China’s carbon emissions to a peak within a decade, China strives to build new renewable capacity.
China added 190.87 GW of new generation capacity last year, 133 GW of renewable electricity in the form of hydropower, wind and solar power, the CEC said last month. New hydropower capacity additions totalled 13.23 GW, wind power additions increased to 71.67 GW, and solar capacity newly installed reached 48.2 GW in 2020, CEC data showed.
Because of a surprising surge in wind capacity additions, Bloomberg’s data show China’s renewable capacity additions in 2020 hit a record high. Also, data from BloombergNEF highlighted the record was previously set in 2017, with 83 GW installed that year.
As China aims to see peak emissions by 2030 and become a carbon-neutral economy by 2060, it is advancing its renewable capacity facilities. However, at the same time, to meet rising domestic demand, China is continuing to use coal-fired energy.
CEC commented that to increase domestic coal capacity reserves, China should continue to expand production capacity at advanced coal mines to cope with a demanding rally during economic recovery and weather changes.