China sets 2025 target for renewable power capacity

  • Market: Coal, Electricity, Emissions
  • 04/05/21

China's national energy administration (NEA) has set a target for renewable power to account for over half of total installed capacity by 2025 to help support the country's emissions goals.

The target should be achieved by the end of the 14th five-year-plan that runs from 2021-25, NEA officials said last week. Renewable power made up 42.4pc of total Chinese capacity at the end of last year, or 934GW.

The NEA includes hydro, solar, wind, and biomass power in China's renewable energy mix. But the utilisation rate of some renewables, notably solar and wind, is relatively low.

China generated 2.2 trillion kWh of renewable power last year, meeting 29.5pc of total electricity consumption, with 61pc or 1.35 trillion kWh coming from hydropower.

Non-fossil fuels made up 15.9pc of China's primary energy mix last year, the majority of which was hydropower.

The NEA called for the addition of more facilities such as pumped storage power stations, peak-shaving gas-fired power plants and "flexibility transformation projects" for existing coal-fired units in order to make the country's electricity system flexible enough to absorb the increase in more volatile renewable power.

Renewables are likely to make up about two-thirds of power consumption growth by 2025 and more than 50pc of growth in primary energy use, and should take the "dominant role" in China's electricity growth, the NEA said.

China electricity capacity, output by sector
2018Share2019Share2020Share
Installed capacity (GW)
Total1,900.12,010.12,200.6
Coal-fired1,008.453.1%1,040.651.8%1,080.049.1%
Hydro352.618.6%358.017.8%370.216.8%
Wind184.39.7%209.210.4%281.512.8%
Solar174.39.2%204.210.2%253.411.5%
Biomass19.51.0%23.61.2%29.51.3%
Nuclear44.72.4%48.72.4%49.92.3%
Power generation (Trillion kWh)
Total6.9957.3277.624
Coal-fired4.48364.1%4.55462.2%4.63060.7%
Hydro1.23217.6%1.30217.8%1.35517.8%
Wind0.3665.2%0.4065.5%0.4676.1%
Solar0.1772.5%0.2243.1%0.2613.4%
Biomass0.0941.3%0.1131.5%0.1331.7%
Nuclear0.2954.2%0.3494.8%0.3664.8%
Source: China Electricity Council, NEA

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