Fast Facts: Renewable Energy in China

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As the following figures attest, China is fast becoming a renewable supermarket and superpower. The country is on track to achieve the world’s most ambitious renewable energy targets. By doing so, it will reduce the demand for destructive coal and hydropower projects at home, and set a model for other countries.



Targets under China’s Renewable Energy Law for 2020: 75 MW of small hydro, 30 GW of wind, 30 GW of biomass, 2 GW of solar

Total target for all renewables: 137 GW, or 15% of the county’s total power capacity

Expected cost of this expansion: $270 billion

Exploitable wind power potential: >500 GW onshore, 750 GW offshore

Exploitable hydropower potential: 379 GW

Total installed wind power in China as of 2008: 12.2 GW

Percent increase in wind power generation in China in 2008: 100

Solar water heating capacity, 2007: 84 GW thermal (67% of world total)

Capacity of solar cells produced in China (mainly for export), 2008: 3,300 MW (48% of world total)

Percent that renewable energy and environmental protection contribute to China’s Gross Domestic Product (2008): 5

Target for 2015: 10% of GDP

Number of people employed in these fields in China: 25 million