China to have 500 gigawatts of renewable energy in 10 years. US has hard time with 16 gigawatts.

ant and grasshopper from Wikipedia

Energy and Global Warming News for December 6th: China to hit 500 gigawatts of renewable power by 2020; NY carbon auction yields $16.9 million; Michigan Senate’s $160 million high-speed rail opportunity
[Via Climate Progress]

JR: The staggering imbalance between the scale of clean energy action being pursued by China and that pursued by this country grows clearer every day.

China to hit 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Power by 2020!

On the same day that Senate Republicans filibustered a vote for renewable energy in the USA, by contrast – China has just published an astoundingly ambitious and exciting renewable energy plan for the next ten years.

China’s plan is to get a total of 500 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid by 2020. It explodes wind power from a mere 25 GW on the grid now, to a staggering 150 GW, a six-fold increase on the previous already ambitious plan.

Liquid fuels would get a boost. The plan would grow ethanol production from 2 million tons to 10 million tons, to expand biodiesel from 0.05 million tons to 2 million tons, biomass pellets for heating, from under a million tons to 50 million tons, and biogas and biomass gasification from 8 billion cubic meters to 44 billion cubic meters.

China is already the world leader in solar thermal hot water heaters for rooftops. The solar hot water goal is to have 300 million square meters of solar hot water collectors, up from 100 million in 2006.

Electric power would come from adding 100 GW to make 300 GW of hydro power, adding 125 GW to have 150 GW of wind power, adding 28 GW to have 30 GW of biopower, and going from a half Gigawatt to 20 GW of solar. Giant steps.

To put that in perspective: the US will have added 16 GW of all renewable energy combined once the Obama administration Recovery Act funds are allocated – which, while a fabulous change for us, because it doubles the entire last thirty years of renewables on the grid – pales by comparison with 500 GW.


China has an energy plan that may produce 500 GW from renewables by 2020. Some estimates place their entire energy usage then at 1500 GW. So one third of all their energy use would come from renewable resources. Projections for the US are that around 10% of our energy production will be renewables by that time.

The US has no energy plan. Thus we waste 200 GW of energy. We are likely to reduce our spending on renewables.

No plan. I used to think the US was made up of ants but it seems that it is being run by grasshoppers. “Prepare for want before it comes.”