China’s wind and solar power generation could replace fossil energy sources by the equivalent of up to 300 million tonnes of standard coal per year by 2030, according to Greenpeace East Asia and partner organizations report on Monday.
The report entitled Accelerating the Energy Transition: the co-benefits of wind and solar PV power in China that this replacement amounts to almost as much as France’s entire primary energy consumption in 2015.
The report indicates that China’s rapid transition to clean power is not only viable, but also socially and economically beneficial, and suggests that the Chinese government must now accelerate the energy transition.
According to the report, by 2030, wind and solar energy is projected to save 3.6 billion cubic meters of water per year, equivalent to the annual basic needs of 200 million people.
"Between 2015 and 2030, China’s wind and solar industries are projected to expand fivefold. By 2030, they are estimated to be worth RMB 1.57 trillion ($0.23 trillion) and to comprise 1.1 percent of national Gross Domestic Product," the report emphasized.
In addition, between 2013 and 2015, off-grid solar provided power to almost half of China’s population who lacked access to the grid.
In 2030 alone, the wind and solar industries will accrue RMB 456 billion ($66.16 billion) in external environmental benefits as a result of their replacement of standard coal consumption.
The analyses are based on the assumption that the average annual increase rate of wind and solar PV power will be at least 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively over the coming 15 years, in accordance with China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions targets.
By Gulsen Cagatay