China will reportedly invest $360bn in renewable power by 2020. A release notes that the country’s economy has grown exponentially over the past several decades, however this fast developing economy was built on coal.
China’s smog kills 4,000 people every day, most of the coastline is heavily polluted, and few cities have a decent air quality. While it continues to address this challenge, China’s renewable energy sector is growing faster than its fossil fuels and nuclear power capacity.
In 2015, they became the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic power, at 43 GW installed capacity.
Renewable energy investment
The Chinese National Energy Administration announced its full investment figure: $360bn from 2016 until 2020 – $72 bn / year. Global investments were $285.9 billion in 2015, and US investments were $44 billion in the same year. China is almost doubling the US in investments.
“The government may exceed these targets because there are more investment opportunities in the sector as costs go down,” said Steven Han, renewable analyst with securities firm Shenyin Wanguo.
The investments are also expected to create 15 million new jobs.
In June last year, Metering.com reported that China is looking to build a $50 trillion global wind and solar power grid, which will seek to connect countries’ grids and generate enough electricity to power the globe.
The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) project was introduced by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) in 2015. The country hopes to connect wind farms in the Arctic Circle with solar farms located on the equator in a system that will surpass national boundaries and provide renewable energy everywhere. [China needs US$1tn to create ‘green’ cities]
Liu Zhenya, the chairman of the SGCC said that GEI is the “best option if renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind, are ever going to become a practical alternative to burning dirty fossil fuels.”
The SGCC states that if renewable energy generation increases at an annual rate of 12.4% globally every year, renewable energy could account for 80% of the world’s total energy consumption by 2050.