China may meet solar, wind goals five years earlier

State Grid employees check solar power panels in the Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Song Weixing/For]

China may reach its 2030 target for wind and solar energy development five years earlier than planned.

Prefecture-level regions have planned to increase installed capacity for wind and solar energy by at least 800 million kilowatts during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), according to research conducted by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

This means that China may be able to beat its target of increasing installed capacity for these two forms of renewable energy to 1.2 billion kW five years earlier than scheduled.

The target was outlined in a State Council circular on implementation plans for the development of new energy unveiled last May.

The total capacity of renewable energy generation in China — including hydro, wind, solar and biomass — reached 1.2 billion kW at the end of last year, up by 2.5 percentage points on 2021, according to the National Energy Administration.

This indicates that the national capacity for renewable energy has overtaken coal for the first time in a historic catch-up.

By Hou Liqiang