The amount of renewable energy capacity installed across Asia increased from 349.1 gigawatts in 2009 to 1,023.5 gigawatts in 2018. China has been the driving force behind the expansion. And now the country is responsible for roughly 68 percent of the total installed capacity in the region.
As of 2021, China was projected to use roughly 11.3 exajoules of renewable energy. Thus making it the regional leader in the Asia-Pacific region. When it comes to renewable energy consumption in 2021, Singapore and Sri Lanka were among the lowest. Thus using just 0.02 and 0.01 exajoules of such power, respectively.
Based on the renewable energy capacity installed, here’s a look at five leading countries producing renewable energy in Asia.
The 4 leading countries producing renewable energy in Asia
The following are the Asian countries producing the most renewable energy.
China has double the generation capacity of the United States, the world’s second-largest producer of renewable energy, making it not only the largest producer in Asia. But also in the world. Hydroelectric power plants in China account for nearly half of the country’s renewable energy production.
It is home to the world’s largest hydropower station, the 22.5 gigawatts Three Gorges hydro project. This Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam on the Yangtze River that belongs to China’s Yangtze Power. China is planning a massive renewable energy project. Namey the Baihetan Dam, a 16 gigawatts hydroelectric project being built along the Jinsha River.
The next two largest contributors to China’s renewable energy are solar (25.1% of the total) and wind (26.4% of the total). The Gansu Wind Farm, located in the province of Gansu, will have the largest installed capacity of any wind farm in China at 20 gigawatts. The Jiuquan Wind Power Base is a collection of wind farms currently under construction.
Tengger Desert Solar Park in Ningxia, China, is the largest photovoltaic power plant in the world and the largest solar project in the country at 1.54GW. Longyangxia Dam Solar Park (850 megawatts) in the Qinghai province is another major solar facility in China.
India ranks in the top ten globally and is the 2nd largest renewable energy producer in Asia. Hydroelectric power is a major contributor to the country’s economy, and in 2018, the country had an installed capacity of 50 gigawatts.
Significant hydroelectric plants in India include the 816 megawatts Nagarjuna Sagar project in Telangana, managed by TSGENCO. Then, the 435 megawatts Bansagar project, owned by the Madhya Pradesh Water Resources Department. And the 1.45 gigawatts Sardar Sarovar project in Gujarat, managed by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam.
There are three major solar power facilities in India. Which include the 2 GW Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka owned by the Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation (KSPDCL). Then the 648 MW Kamuthi Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu owned by Adani Power. And, the 1 GW Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park owned by the Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation (APSPCL).
The major wind generation in India is the 1.27 gigawatts Jaisalmer Wind Park in Rajasthan developed by Suzlon Energy.
Both solar farms and wind farms contribute significantly to the country’s renewable energy capacity. Thus making up 22.8 percent and 29.8 percent respectively.
Multiple large hydroelectric projects, such as the 1.93 gigawatts Okutataragi Pumped Storage Power Station and the 2.82 gigawatts Kanagawa Hydropower Plant, have made hydropower Japan’s primary renewable energy source.
There are many major hydropower plants in Japan but to name a few are the Matanoagawa Pumped Storage Plant in Tottori Prefecture, owned by Chugoku Electric Power Company, has a generating capacity of 1.5 GW; and the Okukiyotsu Pumped Storage Power Station in Niigata Prefecture, operated by J-Power, has a generating capacity of 1.6 GW.
The capacity of Japan’s wind and solar farms is lower and their sizes are smaller. Nunobiki Plateau Wind Farm (69 MW), Shin Izumo Wind Farm (78 MW), and Aoyama Plateau Wind Farm (95 MW) are the three largest wind projects.
Among the largest solar facilities in Japan are the 148 MW Eurus Rokkasho Solar Park owned by Eurus Energy in Aomori. Also, the 111 MW SoftBank Tomatoh Abira Solar Park in Hokkaido operated by a joint venture between SB Energy and Mitsui. And, the 235 MW Setouchi Kirei Mega Solar Power Plant in Okayama.
More than half of South Korea’s renewable energy comes from hydropower plants. However, between 2009 and 2017, its hydropower increased slightly from 5.5 gigawatts – 6.4 gigawatts. The Yangyang Pumped Storage Power Station generates 1GW, which is the major hydroelectric power station in the country.
One of the world’s largest importers of energy, South Korea, plans to increase the percentage of renewable energy it uses to generate electricity to 20 percent by 2030. South Korea, which already runs the 254 MW Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, had planned to construct the 520 MW Garorim Bay Tidal Power Station in the bay off the west coast of the country. In 2018, the nation’s wind and solar power capacities were 1.3 GW and 7.8 GW.
The future of renewable energy in asia
In 2035, renewable energy is expected to account for 63 percent of Asia’s total power capacity, up from 40 percent in 2022. With oil capacity predicted to decrease by 15 percent by 2035, gas capacity is projected to increase by around 44 percent during the same time period.
There has been a shift in consumer preference for fuels with lower carbon emissions. Thus making natural gas more prevalent than oil. Due in large part to the absence of well-defined coal-phase-out policies among Asian countries, the decline in coal capacity has lagged behind forecasts.