China increases renewable energy capacity by 9.5% in H1 2019

China added 22.31GW of renewable energy capacity in the first six months of the year – an increase of 9.5% on the same period in 2018 – as the nation continues its clean energy drive to combat pollution.

The Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) announced on Thursday that 11.4GW of solar capacity was added in the first half of the year, along with 9.09GW of wind capacity and 1.82GW of hydropower capacity.

The increased capacity allowed China to produce 887.9 billion KWh of electricity from renewable sources in H1 2019, up 14% on the year. In addition, China has been working on solutions to the issue of curtailment in the renewables sector.

Average wind curtailment rates were lowered by 4 percentage points to 4.7% in the first half of this year, while solar curtailment rates fell 1.2 percentage points to 2.4%. Curtailment occurs when a renewable energy plant is unable to operate at full capacity due to oversupply or transmission failings.

“The issue of power being wasted is continually improving as the government actively adopts measures to encourage consumption of renewable energy,” said Li Chuangjun, deputy director of the renewable energy department at the NEA.