China | January 19, 2018

First the sun, now the wind

The team at


China is already the world’s largest producer of solar energy. By 2022, it will also become the world’s offshore wind leader, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (paywall).

Globally, offshore-wind capacity is expected to hit 115 gigawatts by 2030, up from almost 18 GW today, the report says.

Thank China’s commitments in the Paris Agreement on climate change and its drive for cleaner, more efficient economic development. The world’s most populous country and largest emitter of greenhouse gas has reduced energy consumption relative to GDP. Its commitment to invest $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020 is expected to add 13 million jobs.

By 2030, wind and solar generation could replace the equivalent of 300 million tonnes of coal a year — about as much as France consumed in 2015, Greenpeace reports.

There’s a catch in the lightning-paced growth of China’s renewables sector. Half the world’s 2018 production is already destined for China, and its appetite for solar could lead to a slowdown in development elsewhere, the Bloomberg report warns.

“Solar developers could find it harder to line up supplies to build plants in other countries,” Bloomberg says. “China’s appetite is both a blessing for solar and a curse.”