The Greening of China's black electric power system? Insights from 2014 data

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While China’s energy system is still largely a “black” system depending on fossil fuel inputs, the electric power system is greening at the margins. We demonstrate, using 2014 data on additions to China’s electric power system, that the system is greening– with powerful implications for the future of the country’s energy profile. We utilize three lines of argument: first, utilizing data for electric energy generated, where we show that China actually generated less energy from thermal sources in 2014 than in 2013, while increasing generation from water, wind and solar; second, examining capacity additions, we show that new capacity in water, wind and solar (WWS) exceeded new capacity for thermal; and third, in terms of investment. We argue that such data rebut claims made that China is getting blacker while its greening efforts remain small and insubstantial, or that China will become dependent on nuclear power rather than hydro, wind and solar as it cleans its energy system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalThe Asia-Pacific journal : Japan focus
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

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  • China
  • renewable electric power
  • wind
  • solar
  • nuclear
  • thermal
  • Under the Dome


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