Energy Efficiency

The biggest clean energy investor on the planet - China!

China’s March to Solar Dominance

Despite some issues with companies involved with solar energy, such as the current financial woes of Sun Edison, solar power is still seen by leaders worldwide as the future for meeting the world’s energy needs.

Nowhere is that more evident recently than in China.

China has a deserved reputation for polluting the land, air and waterways. The country is the world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions. But in recent years there has been a turnaround as China has heavily invested in clean energy.

The nation is now the biggest clean energy investor on the planet.

Big Goals for 2016

China Solar EnergyChina has announced plans to increase wind and solar power capacity in the country 21 percent by the end of 2016. Chinese leaders already have agreed to reach the peak amount of carbon emissions by 2030, which will require less reliance on coal and getting about 20 percent of the country’s energy from clean energy.

At the end of 2015, China announced it will stop approving new coal mines over the next three years.

In addition, the country is moving forward with building hydro power in the southwest section of China, according to the country’s National Energy Administration.

Moving Forward

In addition to the above, the country also has floated the idea of a global energy grid that will significantly reduce pollution.

Liu Zhenya, who heads State Grid, the state-run agency that oversees the country’s power grid, said changes need to be made to meet the three biggest challenges facing the globe: energy scarcity, environmental pollution and climate change, according to RT News.

The $50 trillion project would use solar and wind power to produce energy for consumers worldwide and could be operational by 2050. Former U.S. energy official David Sandalow told the Wall Street Journal that roadblocks to the system are “institutional, not technical.”

Changing Direction Quickly

All of this adds up to a China that, while still suffering from smog issues in large cities such as Beijing, has committed to using clean energy in a big way in coming years. What may surprise some people is the speed at which Chinese leadership has changed direction.

In addition to the closing of the coal plants. China’s solar power capacity increased 74 percent in 2015 over 2014 levels. Also in 2015, wind power capacity increased 34 percent. Meanwhile, coal consumption fell by 3.4 percent.

Adding all that together, 20 percent of China’s energy production already comes from wind, solar, nuclear power, natural gas and hydropower.

“China’s official 2015 wind installations are an all-time global record of 32.5 gigawatts. China is the only nation to have come anywhere near this,” Tim Buckley, of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told New Scientist.

While it remains the world’s largest carbon polluter, China is making moves – and very fast – to become a leader in the solar power energy as well as other clean energy initiatives. Such moves are making people more likely to believe the country’s estimates that China will cut carbon emissions 60 percent by 2020.

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