10 NOV 2023
How China is Accelerating the Global Energy Transition
Senior Director - Overseas Strategical Key Account Department,
Recent extreme weather events show all too vividly the far-reaching environmental impacts of changes in the Earth's climate caused by increased human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. In the race to avoid climate catastrophe, the focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions has led to a massive surge in the adoption of renewable energy.
As a China-based provider of cutting edge solutions for a sustainable future, Sungrow is very aware of the major role this country is playing in the global energy transition. Last year, China invested $546 billion in solar and wind energy, electric vehicles and batteries. In the first six months of 2023, China increased silicon wafer production by 63%, solar cell production by 62%, polysilicon production by 65% and photovoltaic (PV) module production by 60%. It exported over $29 billion worth of PV products.
A recent report from independent research group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) estimated that China could more than double its solar and wind capacity by the end of 2025. If all projects are successfully built and commissioned, China will surpass its 2030 target of 1,200GW of solar and wind power five years ahead of schedule. China accounted for 55% of the global spend on solar and wind in 2022 and there are more solar panels installed in large-scale projects in this country than the rest of the world combined.
As the world’s most bankable inverter brand with over 340GW installed worldwide and owner of the world’s largest inverter factory, Sungrow has seen this growth at first hand. With a 26-year track record in the PV space, our products are installed in over 150 countries worldwide. Sungrow’s climate action philosophy is to provide “Clean power for all” with high quality PV and storage solutions based on our deep understanding and project experience in different scenarios.
In the words of Senior Vice President James Wu: ”Low carbon is an important concept in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and Sungrow has been engaged in making a positive environmental influence for 26 years with reliable solar energy and energy storage products and technical support on a regional and global scale.”
While acknowledging that the road to zero carbon will be full of difficulties, Wu has been encouraged by the appointment of H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of clean energy pioneer Masdar, as COP28 President Designate to lead negotiations to limit the global average temperature rise at the conference. His understanding of traditional and renewable energy is expected to deliver positive outcomes for the energy transition and to reduce global carbon emissions.
The UAE and China share common goals in contributing to the energy transition and carbon neutrality. The UAE has demonstrated real leadership in the advancement of renewable energy and has a remarkable track record in tackling climate change. Its commitment to renewable energy was given form by the creation of Masdar 17 years ago. Masdar is now one of the largest renewable companies in the world with a clean energy portfolio of 30GW. The UAE has set a target of installed clean energy capacity of 19.8 GW (including solar) by 2030, contributing 30% of the country’s total energy mix as part of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
As founding CEO of Masdar, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, was an early pioneer and champion of renewable energy. His knowledge, experience and panoramic perspective of renewable and traditional energy are likely to prove invaluable at COP28.
Sungrow is honored to be part of a number of landmark clean energy projects in the UAE that demonstrate the role solar energy can play in the energy transition. We are a major supplier of inverters to the 2GW Al Dhafra solar plant, the largest single-site solar PV power plant in the world. The plant will use approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for around 160,000 homes across the UAE and mitigate 2.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The world knows the importance of energy and the replacement of traditional energy sources has led to many major improvements in the renewable energy industry. Sungrow looks forward to working with partners and investors, especially upstream and downstream organisations in the supply chain, to support the global energy transition. The COP28 meeting is expected to comprehensively discuss key issues and challenges, such as efforts to improve energy efficiency, accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, scale up low-emission hydrogen, reduce emissions from road transport and heavy industry, and develop a practical and inclusive action plan with agreed priorities and positions.
Many of us are calling for emission reductions and a rapid path to net zero by mid-century. The question of how to reduce emissions globally is complex. Bridging differences and reducing confrontation is even more complex.
Stronger action than ever before must be taken to protect the environment with a zero carbon future. But assigning blame or fighting each other is pointless. As the old Chinese proverb says, "No egg remains unbroken when the nest is overturned". Planet Earth is like a bird's nest that needs to be protected and we are as fragile as the eggs inside. Practical and inclusive solutions are required to keep the planet safe because humanity cannot survive in extreme weather conditions.