Friday, 12 November 2021

Trigger Warning: I’m going to say something positive about China

Wind farm in Heyuan, right near us. Click to go to article

It’s about China and climate change. The story I’m hearing on left and right, especially around COP26, is along the lines of “What’s the point of all this, if China is simply going its own way and continuing to pump out ever increasing amounts of CO2?”.

Xi Jinping didn’t turn up in person to Glasgow’s COP26 gab-fest. But so what? What’s relevant and more important is what is China doing.

The answer is: a lot. It’s renewables installed capacity is already bigger than the next three countries combined. It’s growth of renewables is the largest in the world. On nuclear, it’s pretty much on its own, with 15 plants under construction, more than the rest of the world combined, and with plans for another 150 plants.

It’s on target to reach peak CO2 output by 2030 and to come down to net zero by 2060. Given its past record it will likely achieve those targets ahead of schedule. Whereas the scolds at COP26 have reliably failed to meet the targets set at every one of the previous 25 meetings.
I’m far from a fan of president Xi or of his regime. If you don’t believe that, just click on the Xi Jinping tag.

But on this issue, I side with China. It’s doing a lot. It’s the opposite of what’s being said. Renewables Now is an independent one-stop shop for business news and market intelligence for the global renewable energy industry. They take up the story:

China’s installed renewable power capacity, excluding hydropower, is forecast to reach 1,772.05 GW in 2030, fuelled by the rapid growth of solar and onshore wind, GlobalData says in a new report.

Taking the 572.89 GW in 2020 as a baseline, the country’s renewable power capacity is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%. The expansion is seen to be backed by the government’s efforts to reduce China’s reliance on fossil fuels and meet carbon reduction goals. Thanks to the initiatives undertaken in line with this plan, the country will “comfortably meet” its target of lifting its installed solar and wind power capacity to over 1,200 GW by 2030, with the total anticipated to reach around 1,690 GW, said power analyst Rohit Ravetkar. [Read on...]

For reference: Average Capacity of one Nuclear station = 1 GW. Average Capacity of one coal-fired power station = 0.25 GW

Therefore adding around 70 GW of new renewables power every year is equivalent to 70 nuclear power stations or 280 coal-fired power stations. That’s every year. Clearly, whatever one thinks about China, the authoritarian state, they are most certainly not doing nothing about Climate Change.