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, 63% of the electricity produced in China will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, solar thermal energy and PV – will contribute 46% of electricity generation. The following strategy paves the way for a future renewable energy supply:
Rising electricity demand will be met initially by bringing into operation new highly efficient gas-fired combined-cycle power plants, plus an increasing capacity of wind turbines and biomass. In the long term, wind will be the most important single source of electricity generation. Solar energy, hydro-power and biomass will also make substantial contributions.
The installed capacity of renewable energy technologies will grow from the current 119 GW to 1,950 GW in 2050, an enormous increase resulting in a considerable demand for investment over the next 20 years. Figure 6.110 shows the comparative evolution of the different renewable technologies over time. Up to 2020, hydropower and wind will remain the main contributors. After 2020, the continuing growth of wind will be complemented by electricity from biomass, photovoltaics and solar thermal energy.