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China To Invest Trillions Of Yuan In Renewable Energy As The Country Sinks Under A Sea Of Smog

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China Resorts to Renewable Energy To Save Itself From Smog

Recent reports from China indicate that the country has been inundated under a sea of smog that has covered large swathes of the northern part of the country in this winter. There have been horror stories about how a cruise ship could not dock in a port for 2 days as the visibility became extremely poor due to smog. Beijing which is the capital of China put a red alert due to pollution for 2 times in a short span of time leading to huge economic issues as construction and industry was stopped. Schools were shut down and cars were limited on the streets of the capital to control the unprecedented amounts of pollution clogging the city.


Coal generated pollution is said to account for 40% of the pollution in northern China and has been the biggest cause of its smog problem. China has the largest capacity of thermal generated power in the world with 70% of its energy being contributed by coal power. The country’s industrial base as well as residential power is powered mostly by coal. China is by far the biggest miner and user of coal based power in the world mining over 1 billion tons of coal a year. Despite recent efforts to boost renewable energy, green power only forms a minor portion of the country’s energy requirements. Even after announcing spending of 2.5 trillion yuan on setting up new renewable energy capacity over the next 5 years, China will only meet 15% of it power from clean power generation by 2020. China has the largest renewable energy capacity in terms of wind, solar and hydro power and these capacities will keep getting bigger going forward. However, the country is unable to solve its coal problem which is causing death of more than 1 million citizens a year due to poor air and water quality. China has become a richer nation but it still uses dirty coal like a developing nation.

In its quest for industrial growth, the country has heavily polluted its land, water and air and those evils are now coming back to haunt it each year. The country allowing higher coal mining and coal plants to operate in September have led to heavy smogging this year. Angry citizens have forced the government to act more strongly against the problem of smog and pollution.

China intends to build a capacity of 380 GW of hydro power and 210 GW of wind energy power by 2020, along with probably 150 GW of solar capacity. Despite these large absolute numbers, the overall contribution of green power to the country’s’ overall power capacity will continue to remain small.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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