A dynamically growing renewable energy market will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reduce the number of fossil fuel-fired power plants required for grid stabilisation. By 2050, 65% of the electricity produced in China will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, solar thermal energy and PV – will contribute 39% of electricity generation.The installed capacity of renewable energy technologies will grow from the current 152 GW to 1,721 GW in 2050, an enormous increase.There will be a considerable demand for investment in new production capacity over the next 20 years.
The advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario projects a faster market development pathway, with higher annual growth rates achieving a renewable electricity share of 46% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.The installed capacity of renewables will reach 1,138 GW in 2030 and 2,610 GW by 2050, 52% higher than in the basic version.
Table 6.19 shows the comparative evolution of the different renewable technologies over time. Up to 2020, hydro power and wind will remain the main contributors to the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of wind will be complemented by electricity from biomass, photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.
While the advanced scenario uses 11% of the known technical potential for CSP power and only 6% of the solar photovoltaic potential, a greater contribution is expected from hydro and wind power.The total installed capacity of wind power by 2050 in the advanced version is 703 GW, significantly higher than in the basic scenario. A new analysis by M.B.McElroy et all (Science, Vol 325, page 1380, September 2009), however, has shown that China’s wind potential could reach 640 GW by 2030, enough to cover the country’s current electricity demand three times over.