Construction of a 450GW solar and wind power plant in the Gobi Desert in China

photo = XINHUA

China will build a solar and wind power complex with a total capacity of 450 GW (gigawatt) in the western desert. It is analyzed as one of the major measures to realize the ‘2030 carbon peak, 2060 carbon neutrality’, which is the main agenda of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

According to Archyde.com on the 7th, Heifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference at the National People’s Congress the day before, “China will build the world’s largest 450GW new energy power plant in the Gobi Desert.” 1GW is the power generation capacity of one typical nuclear power plant. The Development and Development Committee is the body that oversees China’s economic planning, and He is considered one of Xi’s key aides.

China is pursuing a plan to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and bring its real emissions to zero by 2060. To this end, it plans to raise the solar and wind power generation capacity to more than 1200GW by 2030. By the end of last year, China had 306GW of solar power and 328GW of wind power, and is already building 100GW of solar power parks in desert areas.

Heo said that the company will continue to invest in high-efficiency coal power generation and extra-high voltage transmission networks to keep the power grid stable. “In order to supplement the new energy generation that is affected by the weather, the proportion of coal generation must be maintained at a certain level,” he explained.

Director Huh also emphasized that “we will not carry out an excessive carbon reduction campaign in the form of an assault force” in relation to the carbon-neutral policy. This is in line with the Chinese government’s statement that it would give ‘appropriate resilience’ to climate change response in this report to the National People’s Congress.

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Last year, when the Chinese government implemented an excessively inflexible carbon emission reduction policy, a nationwide electricity shortage occurred, which had a negative impact on the economy. It is predicted that this year, China will set a target of 5.5% growth and put environmental protection as a second priority. As international energy prices soared due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is analyzed that it is necessary to focus on securing stable energy rather than reducing carbon.

Beijing = Correspondent Hyeonu Kang hkang@hankyung.com

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