Business Standard

China coal generation share at record low in May as renewables hit highs

Increased renewable generation led carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, which make up some 40 per cent of China's overall emissions, to fall by 3.6 per cent in May

coal sector

Coal's share was down from 60 per cent in May 2023.

Reuters

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China generated 53 per cent of its electricity from coal in May, a record low, while a record high of 44 per cent came from non-fossil fuel sources, indicating its carbon emissions may have peaked last year if the trend continues, according to a new analysis.
 
Coal's share was down from 60 per cent in May 2023, according to the analysis by Lauri Myllyvirta, senior fellow at Asia Society Policy Institute, for specialist publication Carbon Brief.
 
Solar rose to 12 per cent of power generation in May and wind to 11 per cent as China added large amounts of new capacity. Hydropower at 15 per cent, nuclear with 5 per cent and biomass at 2 per cent made up the rest of the non-fossil fuel based power.
 
The increased renewable generation led carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, which make up some 40 per cent of China's overall emissions, to fall by 3.6 per cent in May.
 
"If current rapid wind and solar deployment continues, then China's CO2 output is likely to continue falling, making 2023 the peak year for the country's emissions," Myllyvirta wrote.
 
An analysis by Myllyvirta last year for the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air showed China's emissions could go into a "structural decline" from 2024.
 
The analysis for Carbon Brief found solar power generation soared by a record 78 per cent year-on-year in May to 94 terrawatt hours (TWh).
 
Data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed a 29 per cent increase, but that excluded rooftop solar panels and therefore missed about half of the electricity generated by solar energy.
 
The new analysis calculated wind and solar output using power generating capacity data and utilisation figures from the China Electricity Council, an industry association.
 
Wind power generation rose 5 per cent on the year to 83 TWh as a 21 per cent increase in capacity was offset by lower utilisation because of variations in wind conditions. Hydropower generation rose 39 per cent from last year, when hydropower plants were hit by a drought.
Gas-fired generation fell by 16 per cent, despite a 9 per cent increase in capacity.
 
Power generation from coal fell by 3.7 per cent, even as total electricity demand increased 7.2 per cent from a year earlier.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 11 2024 | 8:43 AM IST

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