China is the undisputed leader in the field of energy transformation. China is changing its energy mix to sustain rapid economic growth and protect the local environment and global climate. Electricity is the focus of energy transformation. The aim is to make renewable energy increasingly occupy China's share of power generation, taking advantage of reduced technology costs. DNV GL's Energy Transformation Outlook report shows that China will combine energy, climate and industrial policy objectives. This initiative promotes manufacturing technologies with potential for export (solar, wind, nuclear, electric vehicles, batteries) and has the advantage of a large domestic market.
China's energy structure will change dramatically in the coming decades. Coal-powered power generation will soon be diversified. Currently, 82% of energy demand in Greater China comes from coal and oil, which is by far the largest source. From 2023 onwards, coal use will begin to decline, and by 2050 it will supply only 11% of total energy.
So far, China has already led the growth of world wind energy and solar photovoltaic power generation. By 2050, the sum of these two resources will account for 39% of the energy consumption in Greater China. Renewable energy will increase rapidly. The power generation of onshore wind power has been growing steadily since 2011 and will continue to maintain this state: by 2050, onshore wind power will account for 26% of power generation and offshore wind power will increase by 6%. .
Solar PV will be the biggest winner, and by 2034 it will exceed coal as the main source of electricity. By 2050, it will provide 52% of the electricity demand in Greater China, with a total installed capacity of 7TW.
A large amount of renewable energy is critical to meeting the rapidly increasing demand for electricity in residential and commercial buildings and later transportation. By 2050, the overall electricity demand in Greater China is expected to nearly triple.
Changes in solar and wind energy require multiple approaches to gain additional flexibility, including energy storage, demand side response and interconnection capabilities.
Greater China has taken the lead in electrifying transportation. It is a leader in the field of electric vehicle manufacturing and the world's largest market for light electric vehicles and buses. DNV GL expects that by 2033, half of all new car sales in China will be electric cars.
From the perspective of total energy consumption in Greater China, the region has surpassed North America and is the region with the highest energy consumption. Looking ahead, energy demand in Greater China is expected to peak in 2033 due to a decline in population and per capita energy use and a shift in structure to a service-oriented economy. After 2030, the manufacturing and transportation industries will reduce their energy demand, and the energy demand of buildings will continue to grow steadily.