In order to cope with the deteriorating environment while sustaining the economic growth, green energy has been gaining much more attention in the last decade than ever before. "Cleaning" the energy has become one of the major ways worldwide by governments to reduce carbon footprints, in particular by switching to renewable energy, and China is no exception.
Currently, like many other countries which just started on the journey to low-emission, the share of renewable energy in the whole energy mix for China is still rather low, since crude coal is still the dominant source of energy for Chinese, which was also one of the culprits for the infamous air pollution. In light of the public health and sustainable development, China has become a keen driver on the development of renewable energy on a global level, by being a manufacturer and investor, especially on solar energy.
China has the highest share of solar energy consumption of the world, which is much higher than other leading countries in this regard, such as United States, Japan and Germany. In 2018, photovoltaics accounted for more than half of all newly installed clean energy capacity, although overtook by wind power which accounted for more than half of total in 2020. In just a few years, along with the renewable energy consumption, the solar power generation in China has increased exponentially, to more than 233 TWh as of 2019. Wind power is the second most crucial renewable energy for China. From 2014 to 2020, the accumulated installed wind power capacity tribled itself to almost 282 gigawatts. Besides, with the substantial amount of water resources China has, hydro power plays an important role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as well. From 2004 to 2019, the domestic consumption of hydropower has increased more than threefold to more than 11 exajoules.
As a leading player of the solar markets in the world, the photovoltaic power generation sector has become much more of a profitable industry on its own than existing mere for environmental reasons in China. It was forecasted that theoperating revenue of added value of the solar power generation industry would exceed 1.4 trillion yuan by 2050. China has been transforming from a manufacturer to an innovator in the renewable energy industry, and is likely to keep influencing the market substantially in the future.