China is all set to hit a total of 500 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid by 2020. Estimated increment in the sector of wind power is 150 GW in the place of current 25 GW, electric power would come from adding 100 GW to make 300 GW of hydro power, adding 125 GW to have 150 GW of wind power, adding 28 GW to have 30 GW of biopower along with an increase from a half Gigawatt to 20 GW of solar energy. These accounts for a six fold increase on the previous plan.
The policies of the country in the area of renewable energy have evolved considerably over recent years. Total renewable power capacity in China reached 226 GW in 2009, including 197 GW of hydro, 25.8 GW of wind, 3.2 GW of biomass, and 0.4 GW of grid-connected solar PV.
This total was more than one quarter of China’s total installed power capacity of 860 GW. During the five-year period 2005–2009, wind power grew thirty-fold, from just 0.8 GW at the end of 2004.
The new revision adopted in the country’s policy regarding the clean energy sector could be considered as a giant leap with regard to the global renewable energy scenario.
The US government’s current trajectory in the area of clean energy will certainly not hit this number.
China is now second only to the United States in total wind capacity. China surpassed America in new capacity added in 2009, at 13.8 GW. 22 GW of new hydro, 0.4 GW of new biomass power, and 160 MW of additional grid-connected solar PV were also added in 2009.
However, the fact that demands the attention of the energy hawks is that United States is losing out on an opportunity to become leaders in one of the most important industries of tomorrow. But still, China continues to be a place that marks high scores of carbon footprint.