Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
13 October 2022

China’s solar and wind capacity to exceed entire EU power grid by 2025

The superpower’s huge renewable energy programme is surging.

By Nick Ferris

In September 2020 Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, told the UN General Assembly that his country would reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions before 2060, and emissions would begin to fall from 2030. Since then, the entire Chinese state infrastructure – from national ministries to local governments – has been working to make that vision a reality.

China is now on track to meet the target of peak emissions by 2030, analysis has found. According to the policy analyst Liu Hongqiao, who looked at provinces’ renewables targets over the course of the country’s present Five-Year Plan (2021-5), China is set to build 874GW of new solar and wind capacity – more than the world’s total 2021 capacity of either wind (825GW) or solar (843GW). China would reach 1,410GW of solar and wind capacity by 2025, more than the EU’s entire 2021 power grid (976GW).

This year the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), a Finland-based think tank, found that China would build 600GW over the Five-Year Plan. This latest rise suggests the Chinese government is increasing its renewables targets; CREA’s lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta believes it is “highly likely” the boost will push emissions down by 2025. 

China is responsible for around a third of global carbon emissions. The country’s annual emissions have grown three-fold since 2000 and its coal-fired power generation has increased five-fold. Over the last four quarters, however, national emissions have fallen as economic difficulties fuelled by the country’s real-estate slump and strict Covid measures have reduced electricity demand.

[See also: What is on the agenda at Cop27?]

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Why public health policy needs to refocus
The five key tech areas for the public sector in 2023
You wouldn’t give your house keys to anyone, so why do that with your computers?