Chinese government to move ahead with plan for renewable quotas

Chinese government to move ahead with plan for renewable quotas

Today is the last day for China’s public to comment on mandatory renewable electricity quotas. The proposal calls for the

china renewable quota

Photo: Lei Yong/Imagine China/AP

Today is the last day for China’s public to comment on mandatory renewable electricity quotas.

The proposal calls for the Chinese government to begin setting regional minimum targets of renewable energy consumption by 2019.

Regional quotas would be enforced by local authorities and would depend on the availability of existing renewable energy resources. For example, hydropower-rich Sichuan province in southwest China would be required to bring its renewables up to 80% of total power consumption, but coal-dependant Shandong province would only need to increase renewables by 9.5%.

Beijing claims that investment in renewables will make China a global leader in combating climate change. However, in order to convince the world it is seriously committed to reducing its enormous carbon footprint (last observed to be about 7.54 metric tons per capita), China will have to refrain from selling its low-efficiency coal power infrastructure to developing nations. Indeed, Beijing’s becoming a clean energy superpower would certainly increase its influence over energy markets, but seriously call into question its public image if it continues to quietly sell off, instead of scrapping, its old coal infrastructure.

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