Renewable Energy Priority for China

China plans to put even greater effort into developing its renewable energy industry and cut greenhouse gas emissions to maintain sustainable economic growth in the coming years. Investments worth more than two trillion Yuan, or 10 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006, are needed to meet the renewable energy target by 2020, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The exploration of renewable energy is greatly needed in China.

Addressing a press conference in Beijing early this week, Chen Deming, vice minister of NDRC, reiterated that China's medium and long-term target is to boost its fledging renewable energy industry, which is expected to play an important role in sustaining the country's future economic development. Renewable energy is hoped to resolve the serious China’s problem of energy shortage. NDRC plans to raise the ratio of renewable energy in total energy consumption to 10 percent by 2010 and 15 percent by 2020, compared to eight percent at present, Chen said.

Currently, coal annually accounts for more than 70 percent of China's total energy consumption, leaving great potential for the development of renewable energy — hydropower, marsh gas, solar, wind and other clean and renewable energies, he added. According to its ambitious development plan, China's installed renewable energy — hydropower, wind power and solar power generation capacity will increase by 190 million kilowatts, 29 million kilowatts and 1.73 million kilowatts respectively between 2006 and 2020.

By 2020, the nation's installed renewable energy — hydropower, wind power and solar power generation capacity will reach more than 300 million kilowatts, 30 million kilowatts and 1.8 million kilowatts respectively. To achieve this goal, China will have to seek greater international financial support and cooperation to develop its renewable energy industries in the years ahead, Chen said. Renewable energy could contribute to 30 percent of China's total energy supply by 2050, an energy expert estimated on Tuesday.Chinese wind power stations may have the ability to generate 300 to 500 million kw of electricity in 2050 and another 200 million to 300 million kw will be generated by solar energy, Shi Dinghuan, president of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society, said at the Solar World Congress 2007 in Beijing.

The Chinese government also expects and encourages more domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially private firms, to join hands in the development of the country's renewable energy industry, the vice-minister added. He believes there is enough room for both foreign and domestic companies in the huge renewable energy sector.

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