China has taken a major step forward towards setting an ambitious renewable energy (RE) target for the year 2030. In a workshop held in January, some 40 government energy planners, business representatives, researchers and clean industry associations reviewed a new REEEP-funded report by the Centre for Renewable Energy Development (CRED).
The document outlines three possible scenarios for RE development, considering different possible growth rates in overall energy consumption and varied support for renewables. In the most optimistic of the three scenarios, RE could cover 26.7% of China’s 2030 energy consumption, though the more probable middle scenario sets this share at 20-22%.
Developed over the last 18 months with funding from REEEP, the report contains the preliminary research on the role that RE can and should be by 2030, taking into account China’s economic development targets, energy resource availability, environmental policies, and the country’s future role as a technological leader. The country already has the target of meeting 15% of primary energy demand with RE by 2020, and this study looks at how to continue the trajectory of RE development.
“This report is ground-breaking in that they provide an expert assessment on just how China could realistically cover over 20% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2030,” notes Li Junfeng, REEEP’s regional director for East Asia and Secretary General of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, “and the stakeholder workshop helps galvanise support with the business community and provides a sound reference for policy-makers in setting an ambitious 2030 RE target.”
Gao Hu, principal project leader, and Deputy Director of CRED says that “despite the obvious technical, economic and economic challenges and institutional uncertainty, if we look at China’s abundant RE resources, fast industrial growth and increasing national focus on renewables, we feel confident that RE can play a highly visible, strategic role in China’s national energy system in the longer term by contributing 800~1300MTce.”
“The ambitious voluntary low-carbon energy targets being pursued by China are having a significant positive impact on the global clean energy markets,” notes Binu Parthan, REEEP’s Deputy Director General, “and this project supported by REEEP could offer a basis for Government of China increasing the level of ambition in renewable energy.”
The full version of the report is available from the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA), REEEP's Secretariat in East Asia. An English language executive summary of the report can be downloaded below.