696 GW

Moc którą można pozyskać w Chinach ze źródeł odnawialnych

521 mld USD

Ogólna wartość inwestycji w energie odnawialne w Chinach

10 mln

Liczba nowych miejsc pracy w Chinach w związku z energią odnawialną do 2050 roku


China – one of the biggest energy consumers in the world

China is one of the biggest energy consumers and the biggest CO2 emitters on the Planet. The country is responsible for 1/3 global sulphur dioxide pollution. Because of that the Chinese environmental development plan is very challenging. The urgent need to lower the pollution to slow down the climate change and to avoid ecological and economic catastrophe imposes the turn to low-emission economy and renewable sources of energy. Moreover, the current energetic model has been causing loss in China’s GDP – 10% annually in last decades. Today the Chinese administration is highly motivated to reverse this tendency and invests a lot in renewable energy sources.

The problem of pollution in China started in mid 1970s and is a direct result of Deng Xiaoping’s programme of “four modernisations”, which highly industrialised the country and raised the GDP with no looking back at the consequences. Until 2006 the environmental protection has not been a priority to the government, but just another branch of the economy.

In 2006 the Chinese administration published a document changing the point of view. The text describing the difficult ecological situation in the country, i.e. lack of resources, environmental degradation etc., indicated the crucial need to change. Three key features were proposed: turn from GDP raise at all costs, more pressure on environmental protection and creation of administrative tools to help control and preserve the ecology. In 2012 the General Secretary of Communist Party Hu Jintao has highlighted the matter of environmental protection and transit to renewable sources of energy, which he has put on the same level of importance as political, cultural, social and economic development.

The 2014 novelisation of the environmental act underlined the necessity of systemic environment monitoring and researching the links between the ecology and the health of the Chinese population. The legislation emphasised the must of clear energy sources use, especially wind power, hydropower, solar and geothermal energy, biomass.

Environmental protection and increase of RE significance in China

In the last years the branch of renewable energy sources in China has growth rapidly. In March 2020 RES stand at 28%, comparing to natural gas (3%), nuclear power (5%) and coal (64%). W ostatnich latach branża odnawialnych źródeł energii w Chinach dynamicznie wrosła.

The need to develop renewable sources of energy forced the Chinese administration to invest in the technology branch. According to service Statista, the general investments in this field have costed 521B USD to date and are still growing. The forecasts indicate that the RE branch will raise up to 8.5% till 2040, comprising 26% of the global RE market.

Investments in RE

The IEEFA report from 2017 shows that in 2015 the foreign investments of Chinese energy companies came to 20B USD, including 8 projects costing more than 1B USD. In 2016 the transactions worth more than 1B USD grown up of 60%, and the total amount of investments equalled 32B USD.

The key feature in China’s actions was the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), systematically supporting New Development Bank in giving loans for the renewable energy development. Moreover, the Chinese economic strategy “Going Global” aids to shape the dominant position of PRC on global forum, in the future branches like RE and high-tech.

RE Development

Today China produces 25% of global electricity. Wind farms in the PRC generate 30% of world’s wind power and photovoltaics generates 1/6 of solar energy on the Planet. China has taken the leadership in this field quite recently. In 2016 the PRC had produced and installed more solar cells than Germany, previous leader and since then China increase the production for the equivalent of 10 GW annually. Meanwhile the growth in Germany is 8-10 times lower. In the first quarter of 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, China has managed to add 4 GW of solar power productivity, which gives an increase of 24% comparing to 2019.

Energetyka wiatrowa w Chinach stanowi 30 proc. wartości globalnej

According to the International Energy Agency, in 2021 China will reach the level of 36% global hydropower production, 36% of global solar power production and 40% of total energy production in the world.

Despite the growth of RE use, the exploitation of coal power plants is still high, contributing to the global climate change and smog concentration in the biggest cities. The preference to use coal instead of RE or nuclear power causes the waste of a part of renewable energy. For instance, in the first half of 2016 21% of Chinese wind power have been wasted and the production of solar power in northern China have been reduced of 12,1%. Total energy consumption for 2016 China is illustrated above.

The government is actively seeking the solution of this matter. The 2014-2020 energetic development strategy assumes:

Strategia rozwoju energetycznego

  • Lowering Chinese energy consumption per GDP unit by increased exploitation of cleaner, more efficient, innovative solutions,
  • Lowering the use of coal from 64% in 2015 to 58% in 2020 and further changes in the structure of energy sector,
  • RE development and growth of the total renewable capacity from 480 GW in 2015 to 680 GW in 2020 (27%).

To achieve the goal, China would need to raise wind and solar power’s share of primary energy consumption to 17% by 2030, up from 4% in 2015, according to research by Greenpeace in collaboration with Chinese academics. This action would let the PRC to lower the fossil fuels consumption for about 300M tonnes.

The Beijing administration effectively changes the legislature to reach the target. The urge to lower the coal consumption and raise the efficiency of RE use have been included in 13th five-year plan (2016-2020). The government declared the 361M USD of support for renewable branch. State loans and other forms of financial aid are addressed mainly to the PV and windmills producers. The hydropower and geothermal power sectors will be helped also.

The chance for private businesses

Energia odnawialna w Chinach a dotacje rządowe

The current situation creates great conditions for investment in solar power. To activate the change from coal to PVs, Chinese provinces and cities offer huge subsidies, up to 20-50%</a >of the investment’s value. In the opposite to wind farms, conducted mainly by state institutions, the perfect supplier of solar energy is a corporation or private industry.


The developing market of renewables in China looks very promising. Some corporations already have marked their presence there, like Polish Tauron Group which started the collaboration with Chinese BIT Huachuang Electric Vehicle Technology in 2013, offering R&D in the field of energy storage and electric cars development.

One should not forget about the biomass, also included in five-year plan. In 2020 the energy from biomass consumption should reach the equivalent of 58M tonnes of coal. That is a good news for experienced European companies, owning the know-how and the technology of biomass use. Polish corporations like H. Cegielski – Poznań, Asket or Ursus would definitely find their place on the Chinese market.

The Chinese RE branch is a prospecting field for all entrepreneurs offering solar, wind, biomass or geothermal solutions. Do not hesitate to ask for more.