China plans to build 450 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind power capacity in the Gobi Desert and other desert areas, as reported by Reuters on March 5. More than half of the capacity will be installed in four desert areas of Inner Mongolia, Kubuqi, Ulan Buhe, Tengger, and Badain Jaran, then 30% in other Gobi Desert regions, and the rest in the subsidence area of abandoned coal mines. Over 200 GW of the planned capacity will come into operation by 2025, with 150 GW for distribution to other districts and 50 GW for local power demand.
This has been the second batch of massive solar and wind power projects in the Gobi and other desert regions after China launched the first batch of 100 GW in October 2021. China aims for 1,200 GW of wind and solar power installation by 2030, representing an expansion of more than 534 GW from 2021 to 2030. The country is scaling up renewables to fulfill its net-zero emission commitment for 2060. China’s coal-dominated energy mix is unlikely to change fundamentally in the short term, citing President Xi at the National People’s Congress on March 5. The president emphasized that efforts to realize carbon neutrality must proceed steadily and align with national conditions.