Based on data derived from our own forecast model combining actual figures from the first 11 months of 2023 and forecasted data for the remaining month, the electricity consumption in the People's Republic of China is dominated by fossil fuels, accounting for roughly 64%. Coal alone represents a significant 61% of total energy consumed, while gas makes up a smaller portion at around 3%. On the other hand, low-carbon energy sources contribute close to 36% of China's electricity. Hydropower is the largest low-carbon provider at 13%, followed by wind at approximately 10% and solar and nuclear energy at almost 6% and nearly 5% respectively.
Given that low-carbon technologies such as wind and nuclear energy are already generating substantial amounts of electricity, China can look at expanding these sectors to increase clean electricity production. Notably, countries such as Denmark which generates 59% of its electricity through wind power, and France with 66% of its electricity coming from nuclear power offer valuable lessons for China. Expanding existing wind and nuclear infrastructures, which have already proven successful at home and abroad, can significantly help China transition away from fossil fuels towards more low-carbon sources.
The journey of low-carbon electricity generation in China has seen a dynamic array of developments over the course of the 21st century. Production from hydropower significantly increased from 55 TWh in 2001 to a peak movement in 2012 at 173 TWh, however it suffered a sharp decline in 2023, resulting in a reduction of -107.7 TWh. Wind and solar power have seen encouragingly consistent and substantial growth since 2017. The most tremendous increase was in wind power which rose from 58 TWh in 2017 to an inspiring 189 TWh in 2021. Similarly, solar energy has seen a marked increase from 56 TWh in 2017 to nearly 113 TWh in 2023. As for nuclear energy, there was a notable rise in generation to about 54 TWh in 2019, illustrating promising advances for this clean energy source.