China’s renewable energy industry has skyrocketed in recent years, and the nation has now overtaken the United States as the world’s leading clean energy investor. The Chinese government continues to encourage this growth with favorable policy support. Some key Chinese policy developments as related to the industry are as follows:
- Total renewable power capacity in China reached 226GW in 2009, representing 1/4 of the nation’s total. The government is calling for a total of 500GW of renewable power capacity by 2020, or about 1/3 of total power capacity.
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) for Chinese utilities require 8% of all capacity and 3% of power to be generated from non-hydro renewables by 2020.
- Revisions to the 2005 Renewable Energy Law will require increased cooperation between new renewables and the grid to ensure the generated power is transmitted efficiently. The revisions also strengthened the Ministry of Finance’s renewable energy fund, which collects a tax on all electric power sales.
- Chinese wind power in particular grew thirty times over between 2005-2009. China is now just behind the U.S. in total installed wind capacity. Its turbine manufacturing industry grew to the world’s largest in 4 years. The government has amended the wind power Feed-in-Tariff, and aims for 150GW of new installations by 2020.
- The “Golden Sun” program, introduced in 2009, will provide generous subsidies for solar PV installations. Currently 300 projects have been proposed, totaling nearly $2.9 billion in investment.
- China has expanded its pledge to achieve 15% of all primary energy from “non-fossil fuel sources” by 2020. This expanded directive will allow nuclear power to be included in the total accounting.
- New carbon intensity targets were announced in Dec 2009, which aim to reduce the carbon intensity of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 relative to 2005 levels.
- The 5 Year Plan for 2006-2010 aims to increase energy efficiency by 20%, including pumps, fans, boilers and the production of materials like steel and cement.
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