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China Energy Hits Record in Renewables Output

China Energy Investment Corp’s renewable power generation capacity touched a record during the first quarter of this year, as the company accelerated its green energy transition while ensuring domestic energy security.

The company, also known as China Energy, saw a 34.7 percent year-on-year increase in newly installed capacity for new energy during the first three months, with a corresponding 23.2 percent rise in clean energy electricity generation compared to the same period last year, company spokesman Huang Qing said during a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

China Energy has been stepping up investments in renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and hydropower. It has launched 80 key projects nationwide with a total investment of 400 billion yuan ($55.27 billion) in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, and Qinghai and Hebei provinces, he said.

Chinese energy companies’ increased focus on renewable power generation aligns with global efforts to combat climate change, while helping to diversify the nation’s energy mix and reducing dependence on fossil fuels, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

Leading traditional energy companies are strategically pivoting toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, which is also stimulating innovation and technological advancements in the renewable energy sector while fostering economic growth, Lin said.

With a total installed capacity of 2.32 million kilowatts, Maerdang hydropower station, the highest-altitude facility of its kind on the upper reaches of the Yellow River operated by China Energy, has been connected to the grid and started operations earlier this month. It is expected to generate more than 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

The station, located 3,000 meters above sea level along the Yellow River in Qinghai province, is also the core of the company’s first integrated clean energy facility in Qinghai to include hydropower, wind power, solar power and energy storage.

It will take advantage of the abundant clean energy in the western region of China while benefiting the energy-hungry eastern region, the company said.

The construction experience and technological progress achieved by the design, building and installation processes of the Maerdang hydropower station will further benefit future hydropower projects in regions such as the Xizang autonomous region, it said.

China Energy achieved a record in installed renewable energy projects last year, with power generation capacity in 2023 reaching 320 million kW, with renewable energy accounting for 35.5 percent of the total.

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