China surpassed the United States as the top producer of renewable energy in 2016, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy released Monday.
Renewable power, excluding hydro power, in the world grew by 14.1 percent in 2016, the biggest increment on record, the report said.
Although the share of renewable power within primary energy was just 4 percent, its strong growth meant it accounted for one-third of the increase in primary energy, the report indicated.
China continued to dominate renewables growth, contributing about 40 percent of global growth – more than the entire OECD – and surpassed the United States as the largest producer of renewable power last year, said Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist.
China also provided the main source of world growth for both hydro and nuclear power. Global hydro power rose 2.8 percent in 2016 from a year ago, with more than 40 percent of growth from China.
In the meantime, global nuclear power went up by 1.3 percent, or 9.3 million tonnes of oil equivalent, with China contributing almost all the growth. Carbon emissions were essentially flat over the past three years, Dale said, with China again the key player.
The BP data showed carbon emissions in the world rose slightly by 0.1 percent in 2016, while in China, the emissions fell 0.7 percent from a year ago.
“China’s carbon emissions are estimated to have actually fallen over the past two years, after growing by more than 75 percent in the previous 10 years, and some of the improvements reflects structural factors that are likely to persist,” Dale said.