Some who call themselves Environmentalists are Hypocritical about China’s Nuclear, Wind and Solar Power

China is building the most new nuclear power of any country and should have about 40 gigawatts of nuclear power generating about 260 TWh. China’s current 15 GW of nuclear power generates about 98 TWh.

China increased its solar PV target to 40 GW.

An MIT researcher estimates that 40 GW of solar PV power in China will generate about 50 TWh.

Some people who call themselves environmentalists (there are good environmentalists and bad ones who call themselves environmentalists) will try to spin that China’s nuclear power does not count because it is centrally planned. Then they say that China’s solar power and wind power mean that solar power and wind have arrived even though solar and wind also are part of China’s central energy plan.

The reality is that China is the single most important energy market in the world. The developing countries are where all of the economic growth is happening and where the vast majority of new energy generation is getting built. China counts for nuclear. China counts for wind and solar. So far, China has added more hydro power (like the Three Gorges dam)

The 40 GW of solar power is cheered by Cleantechnica and is proof that solar power has arrived.

Amory Lovins is a considered an energy expert by green environmentalists.

In 2008 Amory Lovins said – In 2006 distributed renewables alone got $56 billion of private risk capital while nuclear as usual got zero—it’s only bought by central planners. Nuclear added less capacity than photovoltaics and a 10th of what wind power added. Even in China, which has ambitious nuclear goals, they already have seven times as much distributed renewable as nuclear capacity, and it’s growing seven times faster.

NOTE- Lovins combines multiple lies (or more politely confusing spin). He classifies smaller natural gas power units as distributed micropower. Below you can see that nuclear power generation is about equal to wind and solar. So the growing seven times faster was kw and not kwh and some additional playing with numbers and definitions that do not represent reality.

China’s power generation in 2012

China’s generating capacity in 2012 was 4977.4 TWh, an increase of 5.2%
Hydro generating 864.1 TWh, an increase of 29.3%;
Thermal power (mainly coal) 3910.8 TWh up by 0.3%
Nuclear power 98.2 TWh, up by 12.6%
Wind power 100.4 TWh, up 35.5%
Solar power generation 3.5 TWh, up by 414%.

3676 kwh / year per capita power generation for about 40% in developed countries.

Nuclear power is projected to be about 60-80 GW in 2020 and 200-400 GW in China by 2030.

China's Energy Targets
                                              2020       2015 
    Nuclear (GW)                                60-80      40
    On-grid wind power capacity (GW)       over 200  over 100
    On-grid wind power output (bln kwh)    over 380       190
    Solar power capacity (GW)               over 80   over 40
    Biomass power capacity (GW)                 30         13
    Hydropower capacity(GW)                               260      
    Pumped storage hydropower capacity (GW)                30      
    Geothermal, tidal power capacity (MW)             110-120      
    Ocean power capacity (MW)                              50  

China and the high growth developing countries (India, Indonesia, etc…) is where most of the new energy is getting built.

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