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China Is Still Wasting Vast Reserves of Renewable Energy

06 Jun 16:00 by Steve Walia

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Research carried out by Greenpeace found that Beijing wasted enough renewable energy in 2016 to power its capital city for the previous year.

The Chinese government had pledged to rectify the situation, citing issues with reliable infrastructure, and the news will be an embarrassment to the Beijing administration. In fact, the level of power wasted by the country's wind and solar energy sectors actually spiked last year, according to the report which was published last week.

In 2016, China's government committed to improving its power transmission network and balancing its renewable power generation in order to avoid a situation called curtailment. This happens when there is more power produced than the transmission lines can absorb.

Greenpeace found that for wind energy electrical waste stood at 17pc of total generation - a rise of 9pc compared to 2014. The wasted proportion of wind energy alone was enough to power Beijing for the whole of 2015.

In Gansu province, the proportion of wasted wind energy was 43pc of total generation for 2016. Overall curtailment rates in China rocketed by 50pc, and in two provinces - Xinjiang and Gansu - a third of available solar energy didn't even make it to the grid.

Greenpeace also recently announced that the total investment for wind and solar power could hit up to US $780 billion up to 2030. However, rising levels of waste must be tackled, as they cost the industry up to $4.95 billion in 2015-16.

Grid construction now needs to be the priority, with the country's administration commissioning ultra-high-voltage transmission lines across country which are ideally placed for large-scale energy developments, including hydropower. Only then can China continue to call itself a true green energy leader in the low-carbon world economy.