Can Solar Compete With Coal in China?

Can Solar Compete With Coal in China?
AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

China's energy policies may, at first, seem paradoxical: it is shooting for the stars and it is working to have renewable energy start replacing coal-fired electricity. That's a hard task in a country where coal is now 60% of its electricity base and renewables are 20% — and poised to be 35% in 2030.

Its goal is to clean its cities and to comply with the Paris climate agreement. In its latest five-year plan that outlines its energy goals, China has set a cap on on coal-fired generation at about 1,100 gigawatts — a hard task, given that it already has about 1,000 GW with another 250 GW under construction.

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