Huge Chinese Projects Mean a Tidal Wave of Clean Energy

February 28, 2022

Not kidding around.
More than 500 GW new capacity by 2030 – for comparison, total US capacity is about 1100 GW.


China aims to greatly expand its wind and solar power capacity over the next several years through massive projects in the nation’s deserts, according to an industry publication.

A first batch of renewable-energy projects in the interior that was announced late last year will account for 97 gigawatts — enough power to run Mexico. A second batch of projects targeting 455 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030 will be located mainly in the deserts of northern China, such as Gobi and Inner Mongolia, SolarBe reported Saturday, citing an unreported recent notice from the National Development & Reform Commission and National Energy Administration. 

Projects accounting for 200 gigawatts are slated to be completed by 2025, with another 255 gigawatts planned between 2026 and 2030, according to the report. Most of the electricity generated is expected to be sent to the more populated provinces of the east.

The NDRC didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment on Saturday, while phone calls to the NEA went unanswered.

China already has 306 gigawatts of solar and 328 gigawatts of wind — more than any other country — which puts it over halfway to meeting its pledge of a combined 1,200 gigawatts by the end of the decade. That’s also when the government expects nationwide carbon emissions to have peaked.

China added a record amount of solar power last year, and is likely to do that again in 2022, driven by both the desert renewable projects and a nationwide push for more rooftop installations. 

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