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Al Gore’s Chinese Smoke And Mirrors

February 24, 2018

By Paul Homewood




The likes of Al Gore and the BBC love to reel out figures supposedly showing how quickly China is building new renewable capacity.

Anyone not familiar with the actual data might think that the Chinese will be running half of their economy on renewable energy in the not too distant future.

As we know though, anything Gore or the BBC tell us needs to be treated with the utmost suspicion.


Fortunately we have the actual numbers for last year from the China Electricity Council, courtesy of the China Energy Portal:





New capacity of 19 and 53 GW of wind and solar respectively was added last year. Based on the actual load factors of 21% and 10%, this would be expected to generate 83 Twh in a full year. Given that China’s total generation was 6417 Twh, the extra power from wind and solar would contribute just 1.3%.

However, we need to note that total generation actually rose by 393 Twh year on year. So the extra capacity from wind and solar is only able to supply a fifth of that.

As the data for 2017 shows, most of the extra demand came from thermal, which still supplies 71% of the total.


In other words, China is actually going backwards in terms of curtailing use of fossil fuels.


How does all of this compare with the UK?

At 339 Twh a year, the UK system is a nineteenth the size of China’s.

Here, wind and solar capacity are currently 19 and 13 GW respectively. At China’s scale this would equate to 351 and 247 GW.

Yet, despite all of the hype, the current capacity there is much lower, at 164 and 130 GW.


As for China’s Paris commitment, they promised a very modest 200 and 100 GW of wind and solar in total, way below what we already have in the UK comparatively.

Hardly surprising that China are on target to meet their pledge.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    February 24, 2018 12:27 pm

    No matter how much capacity is added, until the grid can deliver it, it’s useless:

    “China Faces an Uphill Renewable Energy Curtailment Challenge
    The world’s largest energy market is shedding more than 1 in 10 kilowatts, and it wants to stop.”

    According to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the renewable energy abandonment rate in the third quarter of this year was 33 percent in Gansu and 29.3 percent in Xinjiang, both in the northwest of the country.

    Jilin, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, all on China’s northern border, also had double-digit abandonment rates, NEA figures show. Nationwide, the average rate of curtailment was 12.2 percent in the last quarter, compared to 13.6 percent in the first half of the year.

    “China wasted enough renewable energy to power Beijing for an entire year, says Greenpeace”

    … Greenpeace said wasted wind power still rose to 17 per cent of the total generated by wind farms last year, up from 8 per cent in 2014. The amount that failed to make it to the grid was enough to power China’s capital Beijing for the whole of 2015, it added.
    Wasted wind generation in the northwestern province of Gansu was 43 per cent of the total generated last year, it said.
    Solar curtailment rates across China rose 50 per cent over 2015 and 2016. More than 30 per cent of available solar power in Gansu and neighbouring Xinjiang failed to reach the grid.

  2. February 24, 2018 12:57 pm

    Everywhere that Al Gore goes, snow and ice are sure to follow.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    February 24, 2018 1:09 pm

    Ten years ago “Professor” Gore predicted that the North Pole would be ice-free in five years. Apparently the success of alternative energy is working..”.at an unprecedented pace.”

  4. February 24, 2018 1:16 pm

    I always wonder if the BBC actually knows the difference between capacity (power in GW) and production (energy in GWh). I honestly don’t know if they understand the difference between power and energy or if they deliberately mislead the public. I’m certain that Al Bore doesn’t know the difference, but he is all lies and propaganda anyway, so it doesn’t matter that he is ignorant.

    • dave permalink
      February 24, 2018 1:59 pm

      People in the BBC are not numerate – except with their remuneration packages.

      The intent of pushing out this China nonsense, is to replant the idea in gullible, Western, heads:

      “The developing world is actually cutting emissions, and so shame on you for complaining about doing your bit!”

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        February 24, 2018 2:33 pm

        Many of them are total converts to saving the world from what they have been told is certain future destruction: the unforgivable thing to me is that they do not allow questioning of their dogma. It seems that the top-levels of the meja are all complicit in following the party line. Without Trump, the war would certainly be lost and victory would be with the believers.

  5. George Lawson permalink
    February 24, 2018 7:14 pm

    Gore. “More than half of NEW electricity capacity comes from renewables” But he dare not say what the NEW capacity is as a percentage of the total. He certainly is the past master at the smoke and mirrors club!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 25, 2018 10:46 am

      Yes fake news at its best. Say something that is true while giving the impression you are saying something totally different. New capacity might be tiny, but half is renewable.

  6. markl permalink
    February 24, 2018 7:16 pm

    By labeling China a ‘developing country’ the UN hoped to give them a free pass on fossil fuel usage and get their buy in for the Paris Discord. Then by touting installed capacity they hope to fool the world into thinking China is becoming a leader and reliant on renewable energy. Anyone seriously dissecting their “pledge” for the Paris Discord can see they agreed to nothing. Business as usual until 2030. China as the world leader in CO2 emissions is the elephant in the room of CC. It’s obvious the MSM is complicit in continuing this deceit and the banal term “fake news” coined by Trump is just as true as the rest of the statements he’s been making and getting skewered for.

  7. John F. Hultquist permalink
    February 24, 2018 8:13 pm

    As the data for 2017 shows, most of the extra demand came from thermal ..

    demand? => supply

  8. February 25, 2018 4:12 am

    The only renewable supply that Al Gore is interested in is his payments from George Soros to spread his “climate change” bullshit. It has made him a multi millionaire and it didn’t come from speaking engagements.

    • February 25, 2018 1:40 pm

      Have you ever seen the utilities usages on his 20,000 square foot little pad in North Carolina? Astounding.

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 25, 2018 10:51 am

    Clean, renewable an expensive. But who cares about that if you are extremely wealthy?

  10. dennisambler permalink
    February 25, 2018 7:22 pm

    People like Gore say the things they want to appear in the headlines, knowing they will be quoted, because that is what is remembered, not the rebuttals.

    It is the Big Lie technique, where a known falsehood is stated and repeated and treated as if it is self-evidently true, in hopes of swaying the course of an argument in a direction that takes the big lie for granted rather than critically questioning it or ignoring it.

    In 2006, Labour’s favourite think tank, (David Miliband worked there in the 90’s) the Institute for Public Policy Research, produced a document called “Warm Words – Treating climate change as beyond argument”

    “Much of the noise in the climate change discourse comes from argument and counter-argument, and it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won.

    This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective.

    The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken. (their quote marks)

    The certainty of the Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality.”

    It has been an effective strategy.

    • markl permalink
      February 26, 2018 1:21 am

      “It has been an effective strategy.” +1 It’s called propaganda. The problem is the propagandists control the livelihoods of any dissenters as proven over and over by them losing their employment. Another effective strategy. These are some very destructive people we’re dealing with. No compunction at all. The end totally justifies the means. The skeptics’ goody two shoes approach needs to stop and the brass knuckles need to come out. “Science will win in the end” is a joke considering what we’ve experienced so far. Skeptics may win the battle but lose the war unless some serious introspection occurs.

  11. February 25, 2018 8:48 pm

    People seem to concentrate on the electricity market which is a convenience product, lossy to boot. What about direct fueled heating, transport and industrial processes?

  12. February 26, 2018 12:35 pm

    I have been watching speeches from CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) this past week. Nigel Farage gave a very good one and also Marion Marechal-LePen, niece of Marine LePen.

    However, President Trump shortly in discarded the teleprompter and just talked. I do not think those predicting that we will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord have a leg to stand on. I have watched his hour, 14 min. speech several times. I just love the beginning before he begins to speak. His eyes sparkle and his smile lights up the room. He jokes with the crowd and toys with the media. Almost every speaker had something to say about the media and their lack of credibility.

    Here is a link to Donald Trump’s whole speech.

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