The Chinese National Energy Administration has announced via the state run newspaper China Daily that they will be seeking to produce around 15 per cent of all the country’s energy by renewable means within the next 10 years.
China, despite being criticised for its heavily industrialised, polluting economy and images of Beijing obscured by dense smog during the 2008 Olympic Games, the government is taking proactive steps towards reducing carbon emissions with measures that would shame certain other attendees of the Copenhagen climate summit.
With the growing realisation of the fallibility on basing the huge Chinese economy on fossil fuel imports which could become untenable within the next 25 years, the Beijing government is planning to spend billions of dollars in investing in solar and wind farm sites in addition to research projects which could keep China at the cutting edge of green energy generation.
Renewable energy generation grew by 1 per cent in China in the last 12 months with the government hopeful that figures will grow from the present 9.9 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020. The Chinese government is keen to diversify its economy as well as its means of energy generation with the dual purpose of slowing the effects of climate change and making the economy more robust in the face of any potential fuel crises which could arise in the near future.
In spite of passing legislation designed to have an immediate impact on renewable energy uptake such as the feed-in tariff, a mechanism to incentivise investment in green technologies, government spokesman Zhang Guobao is realistic about the timescales involved in such projects. Speaking to China Daily, Zhang commented that,
“Power projects take a long time to be up and running, and we are basically allowing five years to complete them although it is a 10-year program, otherwise, the facilities cannot be put into use by 2020.”
Zhang added, “It appears that some local governments approved energy-guzzling projects during economic crisis so only by fully implementing our energy saving regulations can we realize economic growth with less energy consumption.”