• An executive summary of CREO 2019 released recommends China to install 58 GW of new solar PV capacity to be installed annually in the country under 14thFYP
  • It should be further increased to 116 GW of annual deployment for solar and 127 GW for wind power under 15thFYP, and finally under 16th FYP to have 150 GW of annual wind and solar additions each
  • This rapid scale of deployment for solar and wind power along with decrease in the power consumption for coal fired power are measures that will help the country benefit from green energy transition
  • China’s proactiveness in this regard will be helpful in the achievement of goals set out in the Paris Agreement

Between 2021-2025 when China’s 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) will kick in, the country must target to install 58 GW solar PV capacity annually along with 53 GW of annual additions for wind power to leverage the cost reductions of these technologies and scale-up the pace of renewable energy installations to be able to benefit from the green energy transition, recommends the China Renewable Energy Outlook (CREO) 2019.

Prepared by the China National Renewable Energy Centre (CNREC) along with the Energy Research Institute of Academy of Macroeconomic Research, the report emphasizes, “The next five years will be crucial for the energy transition. The 14th five-year plan will set the direction and pace for the transition, and China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement in the coming years will be decisive for the possibilities to solve the global climate crisis.”

It not only suggests these targets for just the 14th FYP for China, but also recommends renewable electricity deployment to grow to 116 GW of annual solar additions and 127 GW of wind power per year in the 15th FYP and finally ‘revolutionise’ in the 16th FYP to have 150 GW of wind and solar additions annually.

By 2025, China should have a cumulative installed solar power capacity of 530 GW generating around 690 TWh and for wind power the recommended target is to have over 500 GW aggregate capacity with 1,350 TWh electricity generation to be able to decarbonize its power sector.

These targets are huge when compared to only 16 GW deployed in the country within the first nine months of 2019, which took the cumulative installed PV capacity to 190 GW (see China Installed 16 GW Solar PV In 9M/2019).

CREO 2019 analyses the Chinese energy system in two scenarios – the Stated Policies Scenario, which sees the impact of a firm implementation of announced policies, and the Below 2°C Scenario showing a pathway for China to build an ecological civilization and contribute to the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement. Wind and solar account for the lion’s share of this transition, with 58% of the total electricity generation by 2035 and 73% by 2050 in the 2°C Scenario scenario.

Under the Below 2°C Scenario, coal power’s share in primary energy consumption should come down by 62% by 2035 and further 82% by 2050. At the same time, oil’s share should drop to 7% , while that of natural gas should expand to 16% in 2050

As wind and solar power technologies move away from state subsidies in China, the authors of the report believe that removing subsidies for many cost-competitive renewable energy technologies is a ‘necessary’ step in the energy transition process to stop uncertainty in the short term.

These assertions are part of the executive summary of CREO 2019. The full report will be published in 2020.