- New renewable capacity outstripped new coal capacity;
- total generation from hydro, wind and solar all went up;
- total generation from fossil thermal plant went down;
- coal & gas consumption for electricity went down.
And so to the detail.
Half of the 104 GW of new capacity is renewables; 47 GW is thermal plant (predominantly coal and fossil gas) and 5 GW is nuclear. 22GW of the renewable capacity is hydro, 20 GW wind, and 11 GW solar.
Generation from wind increased to 18GW (average electricity production) this year, from an estimated 16GW last year. Hydro generation increased by about 17% to 120 GW. China now has 27 GW of grid-connected solar capacity, and 20 GW of nuclear capacity. Capacity factors aren’t yet available for solar and nuclear in 2014; solar will probably be in the range 10–15%; nuclear 80–90%.
Output from thermal (coal & gas) plants dropped in 2014, because although thermal plant capacity increased by 5.9%, this was outweighed by the relative decrease of 6.3% in its capacity factor (from 57.3% to 53.7%, an absolute change of –3.6%, which is a relative change of –6.3%). In addition, the efficiency of coal & gas plants went up, meaning that the consumption of coal & gas for electricity generation decreased in 2014.
Total electricity generation was about 630 GW, of which 470 GW was thermal, 120 GW was hydro, 18 GW was wind, 18 GW was nuclear, and 3 GW was solar.
So coal & gas generation decreased slightly; hydro generation increased by about 17 GW; solar generation increased by about 1 GW; and wind generation increased by about 2 GW; giving a net increase in renewables generation of about 20 GW. Nuclear generation is estimated to have a net 4 GW increase, though with the absence of information on capacity factors and on when new plant came online, there’s more uncertainty on that figure than on the others.
Analysis is based on a machine-translation of this text, and on statistics from previous years. Rounding means that the components don’t sum exactly to the total. Note that the calculation is very much dependent on what the definition of “equipment utilization hours” is in the Chinese stats. I’ve assumed that that number, divided by the number of hours in the year (8760), gives the mean capacity factor. And that this mean capacity factor applies to all capacity, old and new. So the actual amount of total generation depends on when in the year the new capacity started generating. Cross-referencing the all-power-source figures for total electrical generation, total capacity, total new capacity, and total utilization hours, does support this assumption, and implies that new capacity was effectively online for about 30% of the year.