China Triples Solar Investments as Clean Energy Push Accelerates

Source: By Bloomberg News • Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022

Spending on the installation of panels is rising quickly as the nation aims to grow the world’s largest renewable energy fleet.

Photovoltaic panels at a solar farm in Gonghe County, Qinghai province, China.

Photovoltaic panels at a solar farm in Gonghe County, Qinghai province, China. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China tripled investment in solar power projects in the first four months, putting the nation on track to install record amounts of new clean energy capacity.

Investment in solar was 29 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) from January through April, about 204% higher than in the same period a year earlier, according to an National Energy Administration statement. That compares to 51.3 billion yuan invested in solar in the first 11 months of last year.

China, which already has the world’s largest fleet of renewables, is rapidly accelerating investments in solar and wind projects as it aims to build a larger and more flexible grid to meet goals to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and zero them out by 2060 or earlier.

Solar and Wind Farms in Qinghai Province as China Expands Clean Energy Access

Photovoltaic modules at a solar power plant near Golmud, Qinghai province, China. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The nation is forecast to add a record 220 gigawatts of total power capacity this year, according to the NEA. Coal will continue to play a central role in the country’s energy mix for years, and Beijing has expanded plans to adapt power plants using the fuel to act as backup to renewables.

— With assistance from John Liu and Luz Ding.