China Improves Renewable Capacity Amidst Calls for More Stable Energy Policies

The 12th
China Wind Power (CWP) Conference kicked off on Oct. 22 in Beijing's China
International Exhibition Center, inviting influential energy institutions and
international experts to discuss the current trends and future of renewable
energy.

As China's wind power industry enters the 13th Five-year Plan period and
faces industrial adjustment, the event is a chance to discuss key issues facing
the nation as well as the international community in terms of energy
consumption.

There are a couple of significant trends emerging in regards to global
renewables, explained Heymi Bahar, a senior analyst with the International
Energy Agency (IEA), during a presentation at the event. Firstly, renewable
power capacity is set to expand by 50 percent between 2019 and 2024, led by
solar PV. China's distributed capacity will become the world's largest, growth
in the EU will resume, and other countries such as India will emerge as new
markets, Bahar noted.

According to the Renewables Market Report Series 2019 published by the
IEA, China will account for 40 percent of global renewable capacity expansion
over the next five years. The forecast for China is higher than before, thanks
to improved system integration, lower curtailment rates and enhanced
competitiveness of both solar PV and onshore wind.

The second emerging trend has seen renewables become cheaper than
traditional fuels, including coal and gas. "This is a big trend in the
world. In an increasing number of places, wind and solar are cheaper than
fossil fuels, and China is coming very fast to that point," said Bahar.

However, the analyst noted that we still have a long way to go as a global
community in the fight against climate change. "The world is off-track
right now. To give you an example, last year, we installed a total of about
170GW of renewable energy in the world, but annually we need to install close
to double that to be in line."

He noted that we are behind due to uncertainty surrounding policy and the
need for time to develop such strategies to cover many countries and regions.

"Governments signed the Paris Agreement, but the implementation of
that takes time. The Paris Agreement was a basic requirement, and governments
now have to propose their actual plans by 2020 and raise the ambition in order
to be below 2 degrees. That takes time, and also involves a budget, planning,
policies which are cost-effective and good integration."

However, Bahar believes that if governments can provide stable policies,
then investments will be made. "The rule is very simple; if you provide a
stable policy to developers and investors, you will get the investment. Right
now, the markets are designed for a different era and we need to adapt towards
the wind and solar world, and we need to reduce policy uncertainties."

Playing its part in the global fight against climate change, China
launched China 2025 - an innovation plan focused on integrating new
technologies, including renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles as
strategic emerging industries, which are expected to become the backbone of the
Chinese economy in the future.

In projected statistics, the Chinese energy supply in 2050 will be
dominated by renewable energy. According to China's Renewable Energy Outlook
2019, the Chinese energy system can be decarbonized within the next 30 years in
a "below 2-degree scenario". By 2050, the fossil fuel share is
expected to be just 35 percent (coal 11 percent, oil 7 percent and natural gas
16 percent), said Zhao Yongqiang, Deputy Director of the China National
Renewable Energy Center (CNREC).

China is now in the midst of electricity market reform, with renewable and
green energy featuring heavily in the country's 13th 5-year-plan. Zhao
continued that China's 14th 5-year-plan period will focus on promoting the
deployment of renewable power, controlling coal power plants, developing
integrated, long-term planning of the power system, and changing the power
sector's mindset to the "New Normal."

The conference, which will run until October 24, also hosts hundreds of
exhibitors from home and abroad to showcase the latest in renewable energy and
technology. 

SOURCE: People’s Daily Online

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