Experts agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin has used Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and gas imports to carry out his brutal invasion of Ukraine. In an effort to end the continent’s reliance on Moscow, European countries have begun transitioning away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy. But as European nations cut ties with Russia, Putin has been turning eastwards, toward China, to secure a major 30-year energy deal to build gas pipelines.
However, it appears the Kremlin cannot rely on China’s support in the long run, as a new report shows that Beijing has been massively stepping up its renewable energy capacity over the past few years.
A new report from the IEA found that in 2021, China outpaced every other country in the world in adding new renewable energy capacity, accounting for 46 percent of global additions.
In 2021, China added 134.8 GW of renewable energy to its mix, which was slightly lower than the previous year, when it added a record 137.7 GW.
However, both these figures are more than twice the amount of energy generated in 2019, 65.3 GW of new capacity.
China is massively outperforming every other country is developing renewable energy, with the next largest producer being Europe at 47 GW, followed by the US at 36.2 GW.
The report added: “China is expected to have the largest cumulative installed offshore wind capacity globally and surpass the European Union and the United Kingdom combined by the end of this year.
“China accounts for 45 percent of global renewable capacity additions in 2022-2023, with the commissioning of over 140 GW on average per year driven mostly by large-scale solar PV deployment.
“The expansion trend in China is fully in-line with the government’s 1,200 GW wind and solar PV target by 2030.”
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“On the other hand, our forecasts indicate incremental growth of renewable electricity generation up to 180 TWh from 2021-2023, almost equal to the highest value of Russia dependent gas-fired generation.
“With current deployment trends, wind and solar PV expansion in the European Union has the potential to reduce the dependence on Russian gas use in electricity significantly.
“However, the contribution of variable renewables will also depend on policies on energy efficiency measures keeping demand in check and the phase-out or phase-down policies for coal and nuclear energy in several member states.”