China Is Number 1 In Renewable Energy...

China Is Number 1 In Renewable Energy Output

Posted in the China Forum


Brooklyn, NY

#1 Jul 30, 2012
China Passes US in Power Output, Renewable Energy

China has replaced the United States not only as the world’s leading generator of electricity but also of electricity from renewable sources, according to China’s Electricity Council (CEC) and the US Energy Information Administration (USEIA).

China’s total installed capacity for generating electricity reached 1.063 billion kilowatts at the end of 2011. This capacity was used to generate 4.73 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to China Electricity Council Chairman Liu Zhengya.

In 2011 the US generated just under 4 trillion kw-hours of electricity with an installed capacity of about 1.1 billion kilowatts, according to the USEIA. So while the US installed capacity remains slightly greater than that of China, it was used to produce slightly less electricity than the US in 2011.

China’s renewable energy capacity has recently surpassed that of the US because it has added massive hydropower dams like the Three Gorges power plant, with its 32 massive turbines with a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts. That brings the nation’s hydroelectric power capacity to about 150 million kilowatts.

The US gets about 13% of its electricity from renewable sources, of which hydroelectric plants provide about 63% or about 83 million kilowatts. Wind is second with 23%. Wood biomass plants account for about 7% of total renewable electricity generation, followed by waste biomass at 4%, geothermal at 3% and solar at around 1%.

As of mid 2012 China has boosted its wind power generation capacity to 52.58 million kilowatts, according to Liu. The US had 47 million kilowatts of installed wind power capacity as of the end of 2011, with average annual sector growth of about 50%.

Solar power remains a relatively small player in electricity generation in both China and the US. US installed solar capacity as of the end of 2011 was about 4 million kilowatts while China’s was about 3.1 million kilowatts.

In 2012 China’s electricity industry completed integration of all regional power grids, with 480,000 kilometers of 220 kv power transmission lines and combined transformer capacity of 2.2 billion kva (kilovolt-ampere) as of the end of 2011, said Liu.

The rapid growth of China’s power-generation sector has put nine of the nation’s electrical power producers among the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest companies.

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