China is the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing their emissions between 2010 and 2011 by 9.3 percent. Despite increasing their continually growing emissions since taking the top polluter spot from the United States, the country could have greater emissions without their large and expanding renewable energy sector.
Renewable energies in the country of China have the support of governmental policies which has enabled considerable growth in recent years. China has invested approximately $45 billion in both 2010 and 2011 in renewables, making them one of the top investors along with the U.S.. Both wind and solar sectors have been growing significantly in the country, although hydropower is still the top contributor to renewable energy in China.
Wind energy is the second largest renewable sector in China and the focus on the energy is expected to grow in the coming years. 100 gigawatts of wind energy is expected to be connected to the national electricity grid by 2015. This number is expected to jump to 200 gigawatts within just five years by 2020.
China is a world leader in wind energy installations, however, limitations on their capacity have been due to the lack of connections to the national electricity grid. A current $400 billion project to have a unified grid in China by the State Grid Corporation of China is expected to be completed in 2016. The connected grid will significantly assist in China’s renewable energy goals and overall effectiveness of their renewable energy sector.
China recently expanded upon their wind energy sector when they approved a massive wind project in Inner Mongolia. A 1.4 gigawatt wind project comprised of seven different wind farms was approved and is expected to cost $2.18 billion. The wind farms will all be constructed using different companies but they are all expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The area of Inner Mongolia is already home to a significant amount of wind energy. A total of 17.6 gigawatts of wind energy had been installed by 2011, with significantly more going online in 2012 and 2013. Wind is responsible for powering 13.8 percent of the largest Inner Mongolia city, Baotou.
China aims to attain fifteen percent of their electricity needs from renewables by 2020, a goal they have the potential to reach.