China to invest $294 billion in renewables by 2015

China plans to invest $294 billion in renewable energy as part of its plan to reduce emissions by 45% by 2020

China’s investments has encouraged Sinopec to take environmental commitments more seriously (Pic: nagyman/flickr)

 

China will invest 1.8 trillion yuan ($294 billion) in renewable energy in the five years until 2015, a senior official said on Tuesday.

This is in addition to the 2.3 trillion yuan being spent on energy saving and emissions reduction in China. These pledges come as part of China’s commitment to reduce its emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 from 2005 levels.

It has also promised to raise its non-fossil fuel energy consumption to 15% of the total mix.

“China has carried out a series of policies to cope with climate change and we have achieved some success after several years of effort,” said Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, during the Caring for Climate China Summit on Tuesday.

Xie said that the government aims to have 100 gigawatts of wind power installed capacity and more than 35 gigawatts of solar power by 2015.

These kinds of targets have encouraged other Chinese companies to consolidate their environmental commitments, such as Sinopec Group, Asia’s largest refiner, which announced during the conference that it planned to invest 22.6 billion yuan to upgrade its current production equipment and operations.

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The environmental protection report issued by the company in November last year was the first time a Chinese company had taken such a measure.

Between 2006 and 2012, China reduced its energy consumption per unit of GDP by23.6% – the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by 1.8 billion, said Xie.

He also admitted that the country’s emissions per capita remained higher than the global average, as China’s economic development, which depends on high energy consumption, has yet to change direction.

“In every five-year plan, we have outlined specific energy-saving and emission reduction targets,” said Xie.

“China will continue to make great efforts on reducing emissions, improving air quality and accelerating sustainable economic development.”

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