China will hit 1,200GW wind and solar target this year, IEA says

Graphic: Sean Creighton/The Progress Playbook
Graphic: Sean Creighton/The Progress Playbook

China will have 1,200 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind and solar energy capacity by the end of 2024 — a full six years earlier than the government had targeted, according to the International Energy Agency’s estimates.

Why it matters: The IEA says the unrivalled renewables boom underway in the world’s second-largest economy has increased the chances that we’ll meet a key COP28 resolution: Tripling global renewable energy capacity to 11,000GW by 2030.

The world must hit that goal — and several others — to keep the climate stable, scientists say. And China’s clean energy momentum means it now looks doable.

Leading the way: Over the next five years, China will deploy almost four times more renewable capacity than the EU and five times more than the US, which will remain the second- and third-largest growth markets respectively, says the IEA.

Even though power demand is increasing as electric vehicle sales advance and industrial processes are decarbonised, half (47%) of China’s electricity will come from renewables by 2028.

China’s eye-watering lead is thanks to the policy certainty created by the government’s net zero target, incentives under the state’s current five-year plan, “and the ample availability of locally manufactured equipment and low-cost financing.”

Meanwhile, China currently has more than 300GW of storage capacity in operation, under construction, or in the works, consisting of 210GW of pumped storage and 100GW of batteries, according to data compiled by Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.


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