China’s energy chief rejects overcapacity claims, highlights green transformation in new-energy sector

Zhang Jianhua, head of China’s National Energy Administration, dismissed claims of overcapacity in China’s new-energy sector, underscoring its pivotal role in advancing global green transformation and energy security.

On Thursday, Zhang Jianhua, head of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), firmly rejected assertions of overcapacity in the country’s burgeoning new-energy sector. Speaking at a press conference, Zhang emphasized the significant strides China has made in transforming its energy landscape and contributing to global green initiatives. He highlighted that China’s new energy sector is not only sustainable but also vital to the international community’s efforts to combat climate change and ensure energy security.

Zhang’s remarks come in response to growing concerns and criticisms from both domestic and international observers who argue that China’s aggressive expansion in renewable energy has led to overcapacity issues. These critics claim that the rapid buildup of infrastructure, particularly in solar and wind energy, has outpaced demand, potentially leading to inefficiencies and financial losses.

Addressing these concerns, Zhang dismissed the notion of overcapacity as “hype” and argued that such views fail to recognize the broader context and benefits of China’s energy strategy. He pointed out that the expansion of the new energy sector is a deliberate and necessary step to transition away from fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. According to Zhang, the development of excess capacity is part of a strategic buffer to ensure energy security and provide the flexibility needed to accommodate future growth and technological advancements.

China’s new energy sector, which includes solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear power, has seen unprecedented growth over the past decade. As of 2023, China accounts for over a third of the world’s installed renewable energy capacity, a testament to its commitment to green transformation.

Zhang emphasized that this rapid expansion is crucial not only for China’s energy transition but also for setting an example for other nations. By investing heavily in new energy technologies, China is driving down costs and making green energy more accessible globally. This, he argued, is essential for achieving the international climate goals set by the Paris Agreement and moving towards a more sustainable future.