SCIO briefing on China's renewable energy development

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Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the National Energy Administration (NEA)

Li Chuangjun, director of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Sources Department of the NEA

Li Fulong, director of the Development and Planning Department and spokesperson of the NEA

Huang Xuenong, director of the Electric Power Department of the NEA


Xing Huina, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and SCIO spokesperson


March 30, 2021

Xing Huina:

Friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to this briefing held by the State Council Information Office. Today, we have invited Mr. Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the National Energy Administration (NEA) to brief you about China's renewable energy development and take your questions. We also have with us Mr. Li Chuangjun, director of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Sources Department of the NEA; Mr. Li Fulong, director of the Development and Planning Department and spokesperson of the NEA; and Mr. Huang Xuenong, director of the Electric Power Department of the NEA.

Next, I will give the floor to Mr. Zhang.

Zhang Jianhua:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning.

It is my pleasure to meet you here and brief you on China's renewable energy development. First of all, on behalf of the NEA, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our friends from the media who have shown understanding and support for China's energy industry.

Renewable energy is a green, low-carbon energy source and constitutes an essential part of our diversified energy supply system. It plays an important role in improving the energy structure, protecting the environment, addressing climate change, and promoting sustainable development.

China's renewable energy industry has gone through an extraordinary development process since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, by starting from scratch and becoming stronger and stronger. This is thanks to the attention shown by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, as well as the function of Renewable Energy Law. In recent years, especially since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the energy industry has thoroughly implemented Xi Jinping thought on eco-civilization and a new energy security strategy featuring "Four Reforms and One Cooperation" (one reform to improve the energy consumption structure by containing unnecessary consumption; one reform to build a more diversified energy supply structure; one reform to improve energy technologies to upgrade the industry; one reform to optimize the energy system for faster growth of the energy sector; comprehensive cooperation with other countries to realize energy security in an open environment). It has acted with unity, tackled difficulties, and taken vigorous measures to achieve the leapfrog development of renewable energy, thus scoring remarkable accomplishments.

First, China has topped the world in renewable energy production and utilization, providing robust support for the transition to green and low-carbon energy. The installed capacity of power generation has grown rapidly. By the end of 2020, the total national installed capacity of renewable energy generation reached 930 million kW, accounting for 42.4% of the total installed capacity, an increase of 14.6 percentage points compared with that of 2012. Of this, the installed capacity of hydropower reached 370 million kW, wind power reached 280 million kW, solar photovoltaic (PV) power reached 250 million kW, and biomass power reached 29.52 million kW, ranking first in the world for 16, 11, six and three consecutive years respectively.

The utilization level has continued to improve. In 2020, China's renewable energy generation hit 2.2 trillion kWh, accounting for 29.5% of the total electricity consumption of the whole society, up by 9.5 percentage points from 2012. On this basis, non-fossil energy accounted for 15.9% of the total primary energy consumption, and China honored its commitment for non-fossil energy to account for 15% of its total primary energy consumption by 2020. Currently, renewable energy accounts for around 40% of the total installed capacity, and 30% of power generation. China boasts the world's highest installed capacity of renewable energy.

Second, technology and equipment has been significantly upgraded, injecting powerful impetus into the development of renewable energy. We have established a relatively complete industry system of renewable energy technology. 

China is now able to independently design and manufacture the world's largest one-million-kW hydroelectric turbine, and the country leads the world in the design and construction of ultra-high dams and large underground caverns. Our low-speed wind power technology is among the world's most advanced; more than 90% of China's installed wind power generating capacity relies on domestically manufactured wind turbines; and the country has started trial operations of an offshore wind turbine with a capacity of 10 MW. 

Our PV power technology has developed rapidly, and China continues to establish new world bests in the conversion efficiency of solar PV cells. China dominates the global PV power industry. Seven of the world's top 10 PV module manufacturers are Chinese companies. Integrated manufacturing across the whole industrial chain has driven a continuous decline in the costs of electricity from wind and solar PV. In the past decade, the average cost of electricity per kWh generated in onshore wind power and solar PV power projects reduced by 30% and 75% respectively. 

The renewable energy technology sector has become more competitive, creating a strong momentum in the development of new models and new forms of business related to renewable energy.

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