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China's Renewables Plan

In March, we noted that China was set to pass a law requiring that 10% of its energy production come from renewable sources, including hydropower, by 2020. Not terribly ambitious in terms of either goals or technology, we argued at the time that "China could and should do much more" to move to cleaner power and consumption.

Slowly, China seems to be shifting towards recognition the need to do more. The latest example comes in a report from Reuters that Shi Lishan, director of renewable energy at the policy-setting National Development and Reform Commission, last week told a Beijing energy conference that 15% renewables was a reasonable goal, and that shifting from a 10% to a 15% target was being considered by top officials.

15% is still a fraction of what China could do by 2020, but a jump like this in just 6 months is notable. China seems to have a growing recognition that current models of energy production and consumption are unsustainable. Perhaps more importantly, China may be seeing that the same is true globally -- and that the first major economic power to aggressively shift to cleaner technologies could have a "first mover" advantage over the rest.

Comments (1)


Wont it already be 10% once thay get the yangtze river project online? I also saw a chinese ad that claimed they had developed a more efficient solar panel, but have not heard anything since. I wonder if it was vaporware.


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