China “to exceed green-energy target”

With a vast increase in wind and solar power, China aims to produce one-fifth of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, according to a senior Chinese official. Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of the national development and reform commission, told the Guardian that China will easily exceed its 15% target – reaching at least 18% and perhaps even 20%.

“Personally, I think we could reach the target of having renewables provide 20% of total energy consumption,” Zhang said on a visit to London. That figure matches Europe’s goal and would challenge European claims to world leadership in the renewable-energy sector.

China also seeks to install 100 million energy-efficient light bulbs this year alone. The country plans to achieve its goals by directing a large share of its US$590-billion economic stimulus package to low-carbon investment. More than US$30 billion of that figure is to be spent directly on environmental projects and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions linked to climate change.

“Enterprises and government at all levels are showing more enthusiasm for the development of solar for power generation,” Zhang told the Guardian, “and the Chinese government is now considering rolling out more stimulus policies for the development of solar power.”

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