According to the Zhang Guobao, the director of China’s National Energy Administration, China will restructure its energy network and develop more nuclear and renewable energy sources. However he did not reveal when the plan would be made public.
It is doing this to try to bring down emissions in line with pledges made at last year’s Copenhagen summit. Currently, China relies on coal to generate 75% of its electricity, but pledged ahead of the Copenhagen Summit to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40 - 45% by 2020.
The government plans to spend billions of dollars on building new nuclear power plants, solar wind farms, and more money will also be spent on research and development of renewable energies. Zhang stated, “ I’m proud to say that China is at the world’s advanced level in new energy development, but there is still much room for improvement.”
Compared with wind power reserves of 2.6 billion kW, China’s current wind power capacity only stands at 22 million kW, and China is also keen to develop nuclear power, with 21 plants currently under construction to add to the existing 11.
Last year, renewable energy only accounted for 9.9% of China’s energy output. Under the energy plan being mooted, China plans to raise the level of ‘clean energy’ output to account for 15% of total output.
Given that total energy consumption surged by 6.3% last year, compared with economic growth of only 8.7%, it appears that pollution reduction and energy efficiency may not have been taken seriously by some local authorities. As a result, in January, the National Energy Commission was set up to co-ordinate energy policies; hopefully this should ensure the new regulations are taken up evenly and applied.
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