Posts tagged with: green targets

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.”

The newly established Energy Technology Institute (ETI) has announced that the innovative Nova Project will be one of the first recipients of its research funding. The V-wing turbine design, unorthodox in that it is designed to be supported in the air by two giant vertical wings represents a dramatic step forward in green technology design. The government hopes that the V-wing along with other renewable energy sources will soon be supplying energy in to the UK national grid. Recent energy legislation and the establishment of the ETI highlight the government’s desire to meet its green target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

ETI, made up of BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell are thought to have around £1.1 billion to dedicate to similar such projects as the V-wing and will be a key driving force behind renewable investment in the near future alongside the proposed feed-in tariff. The Nova project represents a worldwide move towards greener technology. As Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation minister stated,

“This is evidence of a real shift to green jobs and green engineering”.

Other funding will go towards researching floating offshore wind and tidal turbines around the UK and will contribute greatly to the success of the renewable technology industry in the next twenty years.

2009 has been heralded as a crucial year in tackling climate change and helping the UK meet its green objectives. In a statement released in a New Year message celebrating the creation of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change, Mr Milliband said that 2008 had been ‘historic’, referring to legislation passed in late November.

The secretary of state of Energy and Climate change also paid particular attention to the upcoming Copenhagen International Summit which will seek to look beyond the goals set out in the Kyoto Agreement whose objectives only go onto 2012.

Milliband said, “We have seen significant progress during 2008 in our goals of developing secure, affordable and clean energy, and tackling the threat of global warming. In 2009, the world will meet again to agree a new international deal on climate change, while in the UK we will be laying out the groundwork for long-term energy efficiency improvements and carbon reduction measures.

“However 2009 will be a crucial year when it comes to negotiating a meaningful, binding climate change deal in Copenhagen. There is still much to be done, but I’m confident we can achieve a global deal” added the Minister.

The decision to introduce feed-in tariffs and mandatory smart meters have been the most important innovations of the newly established department. Feed-in tariffs are seen as essential to the implementation of a cost effective renewable energy industry in the UK and will indeed play a fundamental role in the adherence to both the Kyoto standards and any targets set out in Copenhagen’s climate summit.

In the Department’s New Year message, it also highlighted achievements made in the field of carbon emissions trading, where the UK saw the world’s first auction of carbon emissions allowances in November under Phase II of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. This year should see preparations for more organisations to join emissions trading activities.


Lord Hunt has announced that the government will roll out smart meters over the next 10 years in order to help the UK meet targets set out in the Energy Bill. Smart meters are considered to be fundamental to the introduction of feed-in tariffs whereby the small renewable energy producers will be paid a premium rate for energy they feed back into the national grid.

Lord Hunt, announcing the roll out said, “This is a major step forward; no other country in the world has moved to an electricity and gas smart meter roll-out on this scale.

“We anticipate a period of around two years to resolve the issues and to design the full detail of a domestic roll-out. Our aim is then to ensure that the subsequent roll-out happens over a period of 10 years. This would see delivery of smart meters by the end of 2020 to align with our renewables targets,” added Hunt.

Conservative peer Baroness Wilcox, who prompted the government announcement on smart meters, welcomed the decision to introduce smart meters across the country, commenting,

“Smart meters are not only critical for energy savings at home but will soon be inextricably linked with the feed-in tariff. The government are as alert as we are to the fact that we in this country are very late in protecting our energy supply and energy usage, but this concession by them is a great step forward.”