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Guardian’s Chinese Disinformation Campaign

March 11, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Robin Guenier

 

Advocates of Net Zero know that there is a huge fly in the ointment for their plans – China and India.

Thus there has been persistent misinformation about the actions, policies and intentions of these two countries, right the way back to Copenhagen in 2009, via Paris.

The latest scam is to persuade us that China is leading the world in renewables:

 

 

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China built more new windfarm capacity in 2020 than the whole world combined in the year before, leading to an annual record for windfarm installations despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

A study has revealed that China led the world’s biggest ever increase in wind power capacity as developers built almost 100GW worth of windfarms last year – enough to power almost three times the number of homes in the UK and a rise of nearly 60% on the previous year.

Most of the world’s new windfarms were built onshore, which more than offset a drop of 20% in the new wind power capacity built at sea.

The report, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, found that China built more than half of the world’s new wind power capacity. Its onshore and offshore windfarms grew by almost 58GW last year, more than the world’s combined wind power growth in 2019.

Isabelle Edwards, the author of the report, said: “While every region commissioned more wind capacity than the year prior, the unprecedented growth observed in 2020 should be credited to the Chinese wind market.”

Chinese renewable energy developers piled into the market before a looming cut-off for new wind power subsidies from the government, and demand is likely to slow next year.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/10/china-leads-world-increase-wind-power-capacity-windfarms 

 

What the Guardian has not told you is that China is far and away the biggest electricity producer in the world, generating 27% of the world’s power, more than the US and EU combined. China also produced 23 times as much as the UK does. Inevitably then, China’s figures are going to be huge.

When you drill down though, they are not quite as “world leading” as they appear!

For a start, the Guardian’s “nearly 100GW” turns out to be only 58GW, according to the Guardian article itself. Even this figure is not reliable, as the Bloomberg report referred to says 72GW!

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https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/china-blows-past-clean-energy-record-with-extra-wind-capacity 

72GW is the correct figure according to the China Energy Portal, which I reported on back in January:

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 https://chinaenergyportal.org/en/2020-electricity-other-energy-statistics-preliminary/

However that sudden jump in wind and solar capacity last year turns out to be extremely dodgy, as Bloomberg go on to report:

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Certainly the ending of subsidies must have had a marked effect on the surge last year, but it is also apparent that completed installations were much fewer than claimed.

But how do these figures compare with what we have in the UK?

At the end of 2020, China had 281GW and 253GW of wind and solar power respectively:

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Remembering that China generates 23 times as much as we do, those capacities equate to 12GW and 11GW for wind and solar here. Yet the UK actually has 26GW and 14GW  respectively, so we are clearly well in front comparatively.

In the last five years, the UK has installed 11GW of wind power, against China’s 184GW, again a much larger figure relatively.

China’s wind farms are also much less productive, running at 23% of capacity last year.

As a result of all this, wind power in China only accounts for 6% of electricity generated. Here the figure was 20% in 2019, and even more last year.

  

To be fair (!) to the Guardian, it does go on to report about coal power in China:

A separate report, by US campaigners at Global Energy Monitor, found that China had also built almost two-thirds of the world’s operating coal power plants.

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In the first six months of last year, China was the site of almost 90% of all coal plants under construction, and home to half the world’s operating coal-fired electricity capacity, according to the report.

 

But perhaps the key piece of information is hidden away at the end of the article:

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As with China, the US also phased out subsidies in 2020, again leading to a surge in installations. It is clear that investments in wind power are not viable without subsidy.

Meanwhile, only 12.6GW of wind power was added in Europe. Total installed capacity in Europe in 2019 was 203GW, according to BP, so capacity only increased by 6% last year. By any standard, that has to be an extremely disappointing outcome for renewable enthusiasts.

35 Comments
  1. markl permalink
    March 11, 2021 6:14 pm

    Additional renewable capacity means nothing in the faulty game to gain CC bragging rights and virtue signaling. The real question is how much less fossil fuels, mainly coal, were used. The answer is coal and fossil fuel use is steadily rising throughout the world and the largest increase is in China. When you own the media you control the narrative.

  2. Cheshire Red permalink
    March 11, 2021 6:23 pm

    Personally I find it hard to believe the saintly and virtuous Guardian would lie, cheat and distort, whilst deliberately omitting material information as they push planet-saving, socialism through the back door. Yes Sirree, very hard to believe.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      March 11, 2021 9:58 pm

      The Graun. That says pay your taxes plebs. While being based offshore. That ‘news’paper?

  3. 1saveenergy permalink
    March 11, 2021 6:38 pm

    ” the Guardian’s “nearly 100GW” turns out to be only 58GW,”

    It’s just a rounding error !!!
    you know math is hard … especially for 97% of Guardian writers, the other 10% don’t do math.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    March 11, 2021 6:45 pm

    This sounds reassuring to enviros:

    China lifts renewable power subsidy for 2021 by nearly 5% y/y

    Nov 20 (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Finance said on Friday it had set the country’s renewable power subsidy for 2021 at 5.95 billion yuan ($905.7 million), up 4.9% from this year, thanks to a big increase in the allocation to solar projects.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/china-renewables-subsidy-idUKL1N2I60PC

    But wait …. there was a 30% reduction for 2020!

    China to cut renewable power subsidy to $807 million in 2020

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China will cut its renewable power subsidy to 5.67 billion yuan ($806.50 million) in 2020 from 8.1 billion yuan in 2019, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday, as the country will soon stop funding large solar power stations.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-renewables-subsidy-idUSKBN1XU0X8

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 11, 2021 7:01 pm

    Of course, the wind and solar numbers are gross, not net, I suspect. And just as variable.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 11, 2021 7:15 pm

    The only realistic low CO2 source of energy is further ostracized by EU powers.

    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/germany-pledges-work-towards-nuclear-free-eu-fukushima-anniversary

    Creating tensions with Poland’s CO2 reduction aims no doubt.

    https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Poland-approves-2040-energy-policy

    All utterly ridiculous, and we could say who cares, well the UK will have to care because it means the inter-connectors won’t be able to help us out. Already one morning (at least) during the recent UK grid near-shortfall, I noticed the French ICT was ‘off’.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 11, 2021 7:28 pm

    Talking of disinformation, I wrongly said the Antarctic sea ice data was erroneous in response to another contributor pointing out the sudden Antarctic sea ice rise (NSIDC have now disappeared their error admission for the Arctic).

    The increase has now leveled off and looks more credible and has not been revoked/altered.

    So apologies for that!

    • Mack permalink
      March 11, 2021 10:29 pm

      Looks really scary Mr Grim. Well it does for all of those climate change champions who are so worried by being inundated by Antarctic melting causing flooding that they have decided to live right by the coast e.g. Al Gore, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Leonardo Di Caprio etc etc. Looking on the bright side, it looks like the Arctic ice pack is almost at 15 Wadhams or, in lay mans’ terms, 15 million square kilometres in ice extent. Yep, we’re all doomed.

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        March 12, 2021 5:40 pm

        Sea ice.
        Sea ice melts & refreezes every year around Antarctica, it has no effect on sea levels.
        It’s land ice that is their concern.

  8. Mack permalink
    March 11, 2021 7:34 pm

    Talking of disinformation, in a BBC article last week they blamed the increase in coal production in China on ‘regional governments’ who were more worried about local employment than national emissions, as opposed to the national leadership who seemed to be fully signed up to the green wet dream. Obviously, the Beeb does not understand how China works. If the Chinese politburo wanted fossil fuelled power stations to stop being built today, the workers would’ve downed tools yesterday. And any regional mandarin who opposed national policy would be wearing his balls in a sling, if he was lucky. That’s how communism works!

    • Duker permalink
      March 12, 2021 12:31 am

      No longer communism, they are ‘Leninist party-state’ capitalism. The party-state system is surprising common in Asia. The Kuomintang took it to Taiwan and ruled it that way for over 60 years and made it a success which China has copied after it ditched the Marxist-Leninist model.
      Other countries like Japan, Sth Korea Malaysia Singapore etc have a single long running main party in power with ‘democratic characteristics’

  9. avro607 permalink
    March 11, 2021 8:00 pm

    Isave.
    I,m still chuckling at that one-very subtle.

  10. George Herraghty permalink
    March 11, 2021 8:25 pm

    Where does the Gruniad obtain most of its income?
    Surprise, surprise – from Wind industry advertising!

  11. Jackington permalink
    March 11, 2021 8:33 pm

    What worries me is that Biden will fall for this BS hook line and sinker whereas The Donald already had China taped before he messed up big time at the end.

    • Mack permalink
      March 12, 2021 12:36 am

      Biden doesn’t even know what day it is, it’s his minders and Kamala Harris and her backers that you should be worried about.

      The current president is mentally fried, hence why he was kept in his bunker throughout the election campaign and why his team have failed to allow him to conduct a single Q&A press conference from the Whitehouse since his inaugaration or, indeed, allow him to conduct a State of the Union Address to Congress. He’s struggling to even read off a teleprompter. But, of course, the MSM deliberately hid Biden’s well known mental frailties from the public during the recent presidential campaign so that he could secure victory. Now that victory has been achieved I dare say that Kamala and her chums, like the odious Nancy Pelosi, will be looking at getting rid of the ‘fly in the ointment’.

    • Tim C permalink
      March 12, 2021 10:12 am

      China, along with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and North Korea played “The Donald” like the cheap and nasty fiddle that he is. Also the federal govt. in the US has very little say in energy matters, e.g. a ban on fracking on federal land would see a reduction of no more than 5%

  12. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    March 11, 2021 9:14 pm

    Wind and solar in China help keep people employed, and selling to the rest of the world.

    I don’t believe any of the numbers coming from China.
    The people I’ve met (few) are very nice, but . . .

  13. March 11, 2021 9:24 pm

    As we know the BBC seem to follow Guardian stories
    Around 4:45pm in the previous thread I posted that That R4 Sciency show
    was having an item about China’s coming 5 year plan and the impact on emissions
    The blurb title has been updated to read “China’s green growth plan”
    though that conflicts with the other sentences in the blurb
    It appears that greenhouse emissions could continue to increase by 1% or more each year up until *2021*
    that 2021 looks as if it’s a typo for 2031 or 41
    Ah I see it’s suggested they mean “until 2025”
    I avoided listening to the actual prog.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000sz8y

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 11, 2021 10:23 pm

    A few years ago I looked at the BP Energy Statistics reports on Chinese coal use, comparing one year with another. There were very substantial revisions, some of which made no sense at all because of the implications on mined quality in terms of thermal content. They jumped around, all presumably on the basis of posturing in international circles. Revisions went a decade, sometimes two, back into the history. Rather like HADCRUT etc. Chinese statistics are basically completely untrustworthy.

    • Dan permalink
      March 12, 2021 11:53 am

      I remember simar. I would say they are completely untrustworthy, but they do get revised. There was significantly upwards revisions to coal use in (if memory serves) 2009 and 2014. So you always have to consider that emissions reported, are under reported.

  15. Gamecock permalink
    March 11, 2021 10:25 pm

    ‘Chinese renewable energy developers piled into the market before a looming cut-off for new wind power subsidies from the government, and demand is likely to slow next year.’

    Subsidies? In a communist state? The state pays itself, to insentivise itself?

  16. March 12, 2021 3:59 am

    Money may have changed hands

  17. Mack permalink
    March 12, 2021 7:53 am

    O/T I see HMG has caved in to Hairbrain and chums and ‘called in’ the planning application for the Cumbrian coking coal mine citing issues of ‘more than local importance’, which, in the run up to a climate fest, would be government speak for ‘this story is embarrassing us, let’s kill it’. I would be interested to know how the government intends to transform the U.K. into the Saudi Arabia of wind without utilising coking coal which is an essential requirement in the manufacturing process for bird choppers.

    • martinbrumby permalink
      March 12, 2021 10:11 am

      Mack
      “How the government intends to transform the UK…”

      Import all steel, copper, cement, wind turbines, solar panels, excavation machinery…
      Preferably from China or at least their Belt & Road colonies.

      We’ll sustain ourselves with our buzzing entertainment and travel industries.

      Simples.
      What could go wrong?

    • March 12, 2021 10:14 am

      Usual policy – outsource ’emissions’ elsewhere and pronounce shiny climate virtue.

  18. Tim C permalink
    March 12, 2021 10:06 am

    Not wanting to be cynical, but did any of this “new” wind installations actually produce any electricity? or where they just erected so china could claim a massive increase?

    • martinbrumby permalink
      March 12, 2021 10:17 am

      Tim C
      I guess that a high proportion of the ‘new’ windfarms and solar ‘power stations’ will comprise of nice wooden crates containing turbines, panels etc.
      All conveniently stockpiled ready for export to the world’s Useful Idiots.

  19. March 12, 2021 10:22 am

    The other fly in the ointment is the “net zero” idea.

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-2vd

  20. Ray Sanders permalink
    March 12, 2021 11:05 am

    Only slightly off topic but I have just emailed the Guardian regarding this article
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/12/o2-arena-to-install-mini-wind-turbines-that-can-harness-even-a-breeze

    Here is the text of my email

    The above article is so seriously flawed it beggars belief. Rather than just print articles from your “Energy Correspondent” who clearly has no science qualifications whatsoever, would it not be wiser to just run them past your science editor (Ian Sample) who will point out how absurd they are.

    The article states:

    “The O2 Arena will soon use a new breed of “vertical wind turbine” to generate its own clean electricity, after signing a deal with a startup firm that says its turbines will generate power even when the wind is not blowing.
    The London landmark once known as the Millennium Dome will begin by installing 10 of the 68cm (27in) vertical turbines. The breezy conditions at the site on the River Thames will help generate enough clean electricity to power 23 homes.”
    Stop and think about that statement. A wind turbine that turns when the wind is NOT blowing! So if movement of air (i.e. wind) is not making it turn then what on earth is?
    Okay now some real science, the theoretical maximum power output of any form of flow turbine (i.e. in this case a wind turbine – being vertical axis as opposed to horizontal access makes no difference) is primarily determined by the swept area of the flow, multiplied by the velocity of the flow/wind speed CUBED. If you doubt me read this. https://www.windpowerengineering.com/calculate-wind-power-output/ ; Furthermore this theoretical maximum is capped by the Betz Limit of 16/27ths https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Betz_limit and obviously also limited by the mechanical and electrical conversion efficiencies.
    Now lets look at the risible output numbers -“generate enough clean electricity to power 23 homes” The average UK homes (according to OVO energy) consumes approximately 3,600kWh of electricity per annum. Multiply that by 23 equates to 82,800kWh per annum (almost 83MWh). So divide that by the 10 turbines equates to 8280kWh per turbine per annum which is an average power output of 945Watts i.e. just shy of 1kW. (Does your energy correspondent know the difference between units of energy and units of power – I seriously doubt it)
    So we are to believe that a device measuring just 670mm tall by about 400mm wide spanning an area of 0.27m2 is capable of continuously generating almost a kilowatt of power. You do not even have to understand how absurd that calculation would be (it would require supersonic wind speeds) to appreciate that if it were genuinely possible well obviously everyone in the world would have one and our energy issues would be instantly resolved. Simples!!!!!
    The Guardian claims to be a factual production so surely you must agree that this article should be withdrawn as it is clearly an advertising puff piece for what would best be described by snake oil salesmen. If you don’t accept my view I again repeat that you should run the details past anyone with a level of science or engineering qualification and you will find they agree with me. I would also note that you never open articles by this author for comments – probably just as well as you would find out how seriously embarrassing they are – you cannot power anything on an English degree.

    Regards

    Ray Sanders

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 12, 2021 2:48 pm

      Further to above just been on the wind turbine manufacturers website where it states “24 solar panels measuring 1m2 will produce 6KW per day”
      So here we have a wind turbine supplier who doesn’t even know the difference between units of power and units of energy (and gets the abbreviation wrong as well!) does anybody know how I can report such dire and deliberately misleading information to authorities.

  21. Cheshire Red permalink
    March 12, 2021 1:20 pm

    O/T….the Cumbria coal mine planning decision has been called in, following pressure by our loony green friends. It’s exactly as Paul has been warning, with UK heavy industry under attack from *our own government*.

    Truly insane.

    When this decision is reversed, which it’s now odds-on it will be, we’ll be buying from whoever chooses to supply us and we’ll have to transport it here, with all the emissions issues therein. That supply will be 100% out of our control.

    Our country is effectively committing green suicide.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/14312998/cumbria-coal-mine-ministers-intervene-cop/

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