Climate Cooperation China
On behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)

2022 energy statistics show rapid development of renewable energy in China

According to the National Energy Administration’s (NEA) press conference on 13 February and the 2022 China social economy statistic data recently released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), renewable energy developed rapidly in China last year. Under the current development trend, wind and solar power installations are on track to achieve and exceed China’s NDC target of 1,200 GW by 2030.

Key information of the NEA press conference include:

  • Renewables became the majority in China’s new power capacity installations in 2022, incremental renewable capacity accounted for 76.2% of China’s overall newly installed capacity.
  • China’s renewable energy capacity reached 1,213 GW in 2022, making up 47.3% of China’s total generation capacity.
  • Renewable energy played a more important role in securing energy supply in China in 2022, renewable generation reached 2,700 TWh or 31.6% of the country’s electricity consumption, an increase of 1.7% year-on-year.
  • Combined wind and solar power generation reached 1,190 TWh or 13.8% of total electricity consumption, an increase of 21% year-on-year.
  • Distributed wind and solar are a major trend now, with 51.11 GW distributed solar installations in 2022 making up 58% of the overall solar installation.
  • Newly operated non-pumped-hydro energy storage capacity reached 8.7 GW in 2022, an increase of over 110% year on year. 
  • The power market developed rapidly in 2022 with 5,250 TWh of electricity transacted in the market, accounting for 60.8% of the total electricity consumption. Cross-provincial and -regional transactions exceed 1,000 TWh for the first time. 

In February, China released its Statistical Bulletin on National Economic and Social Development in 2022. In the same month, the NEA held a regular press conference which also covered the development of renewables in 2022.

Energy data in the NBS’s 2022 China’s social economy statistics:

In 2022, China’s overall electricity capacity stood at 2,564 GW, an increase of 7.8% year-on-year. Table 1 below summarises the most important metrics for different generation technologies for 2022.

 Capacity (GW)Year-on-year capacity changeElectricity generation (TWh)Year-on-year generation change
Total electric power2564.07.8%8848.73.7%
– Thermal power1332.42.7%5888.81.4%
– Hydro power413.55.8%1352.21.0%
– Nuclear power55.54.3%417.82.5%
– Wind power365.411.2%762.716.2%
– Solar power392.628.1%427.331.2%
Table 1: China’s power capacity and generation by the end of 2022

In 2022, China’s total annual primary energy consumption amounted to 5.41 billion tons of standard coal, an increase of 2.9% year-on-year. Table 2 depicts the energy consumption changes in China compared to 2021. Coal consumption accounted for 56.2% of total energy consumption, up by 0.3 percentage points, while natural gas, hydro, nuclear, wind, solar and other clean energy consumption increased by 0.4 percentage points and accounted for 25.9% of the total. The Chinese economy decreased its carbon-intensity as carbon dioxide emissions per 10,000 yuan of GDP went down 0.8%.

 Year-on-year change
Total primary energy consumption2.9%
    – Coal consumption4.3%
    – Crude oil consumption-3.1%
    – Natural gas consumption-1.2%
Electricity consumption 3.6%
Table 2: China’s energy consumption changes during 2022 in comparison to 2021

Besides the rapid development of renewable energy, China’s coal production also increased significantly. BNS data shows that China produced about 4.56 billion tons coal in 2022, adding 320 million tons comparing to the previous year and up 10.5% year-on-year.

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