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China Lowers Target For Renewable Energy

Wu said China will also actively develop wind (pictured) and solar energy, as well as biomass in an effort to meet the targets.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 26, 2006
China has lowered its goal for renewable energy production but its targeted investment of 1.5 trillion yuan (187 billion dollars) in the sector remains unchanged, state press reported Thursday. The target of 20 percent renewable energy sources by 2020 has been cut to 16 percent, the China Daily said, citing Wu Guihui, a leading energy official at the ministry-level National Development and Reform Commission.

Over the next 15 years, China will invest 1.5 trillion yuan in renewable energy resources, with the construction of hydro-electric dams leading the way, Wu said.

Currently 7.5 percent of China's energy comes from renewable sources, with the government hoping to raise this to 10 percent by 2010, the newspaper said.

The newspaper did not say why the target of 20 percent was being reduced.

Up to 70 percent of China's energy is produced by burning coal which has led to devastating environmental consequences with Chinese cities among the most polluted in the world.

Under the renewables plan, which is still being formulated, hydro-electric power output will increase from the current 117 million kilowatts to 190 million in 2010 and 300 million by 2020, Wu said.

"Two thirds of water resources remain unexploited," Wu said, who added howerver that "in the hydro-power sector, we are facing challenges including environmental protection and the relocation of residents (from dam areas)."

Wu said China will also actively develop wind and solar energy, as well as biomass in an effort to meet the targets.

"We have been hearing that the government is changing the goals for renewable energy from anywhere between 10 and 20 percent," Yang Ailun, a renewable energy expert at Greenpeace China told AFP.

"Until it is written down in a formal docuement it is likely that the goal will change again."

China has a poor track record in implementing its environmental targets, she said.

A target this year to reduce the amount of energy used per unit of gross domestic product by 4.0 percent is unlikely to be realized, a leading energy official said in August.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Moscow (AFP) Oct 25, 2006
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