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, particular by switching to renewable energy, and China is no exception.
Currently, like many other countries, the share of renewable energy in the whole energy mix for China is still rather low at less than a quarter, since crude coal is still the dominant source of energy for Chinese people, 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 in the world, which is much higher than other leading countries in this regard, such as United States, Japan and Germany. In 2017, photovoltaics accounted for more than half of all newly installed clean energy capacity, which is followed by wind and hydro power. In just four years, along with the renewable energy consumption, the solar power generation in China has increased exponentially, to more than 177 TWh. Wind power is the second most crucial renewable energy for China. From 2014 to 2018, the accumulated installed wind power capacity doubled itself to almost 200 GW. With the substantial amount of water resources China owns, hydro power plays an important role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as well. From 2004 to 2017, the domestic consumption of hydropower has increased more than threefold to more than 270 million metric tons of oil equivalent.
As a leading player of the solar markets in the world, the photovoltaic power generation sector has become much more of an industry on its own than just for environmental reasons in China. It was forecasted that the operating revenue of photovaoltaic power generation would exceed 900 million U.S. dollar by 2020. 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.