China to add 1,500 gigawatts of power capacity by 2030

August 28, 2013
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Commuters on a country road ride past a wind farm/AFP
Commuters on a country road ride past a wind farm/AFP

, PARIS, Aug 28 – China will add some 1,500 gigawatts of power production capacity by 2030, or the equivalent of Britain’s existing capacity every year, a study showed on Wednesday.

Although the world’s biggest carbon emitter will continue to draw considerable capacity from coal fired plants, about half of the new capacity will be generated from renewable sources, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said in its report.

China, which is also the global No. 1 in electricity production, will in the next two decades invest $3.9 trillion (around 3.0 trillion euros) in new power plants and other electricity producing assets and will add some 38 gigawatts of coal fired generated capacity a year until 2022 corresponding to three large coal plants a month, BNEF said.

After that, it is estimated to grow at a much slower rate, with China expected to install some 10 gigawatts a year until 2030.

“Carbon emissions and local environmental problems resulting from coal, such as poor air quality will likely continue to worsen in the next 10-15 years despite the shift towards cleaner energy sources,” BNEF said.

Thanks to more gas based and renewable power generating sources, however, the share of coal-fired power generation capacity will drop to 44 percent in 2030 from 67 percent in 2012.

The BNEF said that on the back of a cleaner energy shift, China’s power sector emissions could start shrinking as of 2027.

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