China aims for 1.2TW of wind and solar by 2030

World’s top emitter confirms plans to dramatically increase its renewables capacity ahead of crucial climate talks

China had 210GW of operational wind capacity and 204GW of solar capacity at the end of 2019, according to the National Energy Administration(pic credit: MingYang)

China aims to have 1.2TW of operational wind and solar capacity by the end of the decade as part of its efforts to reach peak emissions before 2030, according to its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC).

This would mark nearly a threefold increase from the combined 414GW of online wind (210GW) and solar (204GW) China had at the end of 2019, according to the National Energy Administration.

The country also aims to reduce its carbon intensity per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by at least 65% from a 2005 baseline, according to its updated NDC.

Chinese premier Xi Jinping had announced the 1.2TW wind and solar target when addressing the UN in December 2020, but the country had not formally submitted the goal to the UN until today (28 October).

Last September, Xi Jinping told the UN that the world’s top emitter aims to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030 and then carbon neutrality by 2060.

China’s submission of its updated NDC comes ahead of the COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, which begin next week.

Countries’ NDCs outline how they can help limit global warming to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

China accounted for 28% of global carbon emissions in 2018, and emitted nearly twice as much (10.06Gt) as the second top emitter, the US (5.41Gt), International Energy Agency (IEA) data shows.

More to follow.