Construction of China's massive 10 GW renewable energy projects starts
Published: Nov 11, 2021 12:12 AM
Wind turbines run smoothly in Qitai county in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Bordering Mongolia and located east of the Altay Mountains, the county is known as the hometown of wind for its strong year-round gusts that sometimes annoy residents. With investment by wind power enterprises, the county has become a new energy base with an annual capacity of 1.7 million kilowatts. Photo: cnsphoto

Wind turbines run smoothly in Qitai county in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. File Photo: cnsphoto

Construction of the first batch of China's 10 gigawatt (GW) wind and solar power projects has begun, marking further progress in the country's effort to meet its net zero goals. 

Among all the projects for which construction has started, the number in Northwest China's Gansu Province is the highest in the country, followed by Northwest China's Qinghai Province. This is partly because both regions have vast rocky areas and deserts, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

As multiple countries are suffering from energy shortages, the need for clean energy supplies has become more urgent. 

China will push forward construction of power supply projects in order to ease the power crunch, Xinhua reported, citing Yu Bing, deputy head of the National Energy Administration. 

In the first nine months, more than 14 million kilowatts (KW) of wind power capacity has been put into operation, and the solar power capacity hit 22 million KW, said the report. 

"China has achieved its goal of raising its power generation from solar and wind sources to around 11 percent of the country's total power consumption in 2021," Liu Yiyang, deputy secretary general of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

However, the rise is still less than anticipated. From January to September, China added 25.56 GW of solar capacity, which is far below the industry's estimation earlier this year. 

"There is no need to rush to install solar plants in order to reach the carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, as they are long-term objectives," Liu said. 

While local governments are striving to carry out an energy revolution step by step, Changde in Central China's Hunan Province decided to halt the filing for new solar plant projects as the solar plant applications far surpass the local power grid capacity.

Once the local development projects under Changde's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) are finalized, the filing work will re-start, said a document from Changde's development and reform commission. 

Analysts said power grid carrying capacity and power transmission remain the two biggest challenges for wind and solar power projects in China, especially after damage to local grids from extreme weather.