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Cover Stories Series 2011
UPDATED: December 1, 2011 Web Exclusive
Toward a Greener Future
China will make more efforts in promoting renewable energy

Judging from the country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) goals, China will invest more than 5 trillion yuan ($787 billion) in the development of renewable energy, said Xu Huaqing, Director of Center for Energy at Energy Research Institute of China's National Development and Reform Commission, on November 30.

Xu Huaqing (LUO QI)

Xu made this statement while meeting with journalists during the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

China declared it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020, according to the plan.

Moreover, it pledged to increase China's proportional consumption of non-fossil fuels from 8.3 percent in 2010 to 11.4 percent by 2015, and 15 percent by 2020. The non-fossil fuels include nuclear energy, wind or water generated energy, and solar power.

These targets are parts of the government efforts to push its economy to a sustainable growth mode as the current model, relying heavily on massive consumption of fossil fuels, has caused pollution and depletion of resources.

In recent years, China has been the country that invests the most and achieves the most in renewable energy in the world, and the 12th Five-Year Plan period will continue to be a golden time for the development of renewable energy development in China, said Xu.

The Chinese Government has adopted four channels for investment in renewable energy, including funds, subsidies and incentives. However, the renewable energy also faces challenges both internationally and domestically, said Xu.

Due to the international financial crisis, overseas demand has shrunk. In the meantime, the aid that developed countries provide to developing countries has greatly diminished.

The challenges also include land resources utility, financing, sharing the fruits of development between urban and rural residents, and ecological protection as well as the development of renewable energy.

But thanks to the forceful guarantee of the Renewable Energy Law and other concrete measures, renewable energy will continue to thrive in China, said Xu.

China amended its Renewable Energy Law on December 26, 2009. The amendments require the state grid companies to purchase all power produced by renewable energy sources.

(Reporting from Durban, South Africa)

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