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China solar capacity rises by record 54.9 GW in 2021 - energy authority

SHANGHAI : China's connected a record 54.9 gigawatts of solar power capacity to the grid in 2021, up 14per cent compared to the previous year and amounting to 31per cent of its total capacity additions over the period, China's energy authority said.

China's total solar power capacity had reached 306.56 GW by the end of 2021, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Wednesday, enough to power the whole of Germany.

New wind power installations reached 47.6 GW in 2021, down 34per cent compared to the previous year's record of 71.7 GW. Offshore wind installations were at a record high at 16.9 GW, driven by a rush to connect ahead of the phasing out of subsidies by the end of the year, analysts said.

Joyce Lee, Policy Director with the Global Wind Energy Council, called the addition "an astonishing figure equal to about half of the offshore wind capacity around the world by 2020."

Newly added wind and solar power capacity hit 102.5 gigawatts in 2021, amounting to 58per cent of the country's total 2021 capacity additions.

Total accumulated wind and solar capacity now amounts to 635 GW, 26.7per cent of the national total. China aims to bring total wind and solar capacity to at least 1,200 GW by 2030.

China continued to build new thermal power in 2021, with new capacity reaching 46.3 GW, down 18.2per cent on the year. The NEA does not publish separate figures for coal-fired or gas-fired power.

China has pledged to "control" coal consumption in the 2021-2025 period and will start to reduce it in 2026.

In a speech to Communist Party members published on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would continue to phase down traditional energy, but only once it has secured "safe and reliable replacement by new energy."

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: Reuters


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