Guardian’s Chinese Disinformation Campaign
By Paul Homewood
h/t Robin Guenier
Advocates of Net Zero know that there is a huge fly in the ointment for their plans – China and India.
Thus there has been persistent misinformation about the actions, policies and intentions of these two countries, right the way back to Copenhagen in 2009, via Paris.
The latest scam is to persuade us that China is leading the world in renewables:
China built more new windfarm capacity in 2020 than the whole world combined in the year before, leading to an annual record for windfarm installations despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
A study has revealed that China led the world’s biggest ever increase in wind power capacity as developers built almost 100GW worth of windfarms last year – enough to power almost three times the number of homes in the UK and a rise of nearly 60% on the previous year.
Most of the world’s new windfarms were built onshore, which more than offset a drop of 20% in the new wind power capacity built at sea.
The report, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, found that China built more than half of the world’s new wind power capacity. Its onshore and offshore windfarms grew by almost 58GW last year, more than the world’s combined wind power growth in 2019.
Isabelle Edwards, the author of the report, said: “While every region commissioned more wind capacity than the year prior, the unprecedented growth observed in 2020 should be credited to the Chinese wind market.”
Chinese renewable energy developers piled into the market before a looming cut-off for new wind power subsidies from the government, and demand is likely to slow next year.
What the Guardian has not told you is that China is far and away the biggest electricity producer in the world, generating 27% of the world’s power, more than the US and EU combined. China also produced 23 times as much as the UK does. Inevitably then, China’s figures are going to be huge.
When you drill down though, they are not quite as “world leading” as they appear!
For a start, the Guardian’s “nearly 100GW” turns out to be only 58GW, according to the Guardian article itself. Even this figure is not reliable, as the Bloomberg report referred to says 72GW!
72GW is the correct figure according to the China Energy Portal, which I reported on back in January:
However that sudden jump in wind and solar capacity last year turns out to be extremely dodgy, as Bloomberg go on to report:
Certainly the ending of subsidies must have had a marked effect on the surge last year, but it is also apparent that completed installations were much fewer than claimed.
But how do these figures compare with what we have in the UK?
At the end of 2020, China had 281GW and 253GW of wind and solar power respectively:
Remembering that China generates 23 times as much as we do, those capacities equate to 12GW and 11GW for wind and solar here. Yet the UK actually has 26GW and 14GW respectively, so we are clearly well in front comparatively.
In the last five years, the UK has installed 11GW of wind power, against China’s 184GW, again a much larger figure relatively.
China’s wind farms are also much less productive, running at 23% of capacity last year.
As a result of all this, wind power in China only accounts for 6% of electricity generated. Here the figure was 20% in 2019, and even more last year.
To be fair (!) to the Guardian, it does go on to report about coal power in China:
A separate report, by US campaigners at Global Energy Monitor, found that China had also built almost two-thirds of the world’s operating coal power plants.
In the first six months of last year, China was the site of almost 90% of all coal plants under construction, and home to half the world’s operating coal-fired electricity capacity, according to the report.
But perhaps the key piece of information is hidden away at the end of the article:
As with China, the US also phased out subsidies in 2020, again leading to a surge in installations. It is clear that investments in wind power are not viable without subsidy.
Meanwhile, only 12.6GW of wind power was added in Europe. Total installed capacity in Europe in 2019 was 203GW, according to BP, so capacity only increased by 6% last year. By any standard, that has to be an extremely disappointing outcome for renewable enthusiasts.