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China Endorses Plan to Step Up Solar Power Demand After 2015

The Chinese government said it will accelerate the pace of solar power installations after 2015, part of a program including funds from the state to cap carbon emissions while satisfying the nation’s demand for electricity.

The State Council said it aims to boost solar power capacity to 50 gigawatts in 2020 from 21 gigawatts targeted for 2015. About 3.6 gigawatts are installed now, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. The government will promote private investment in the industries and set up “special” funds for research, the council said.

The world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning said it aims to derive 4.5 percent of its energy from low-carbon sources and pare at least 400 million tons of CO2 a year by 2015. Last year about 0.6 percent of its energy came from renewable, according to figures from BP Plc.

The targets and fund “will certainly create opportunities for technology innovation,” said Jessica Ng, an analyst for New Energy Finance in Beijing.

The world’s second-biggest economy is harnessing low-emissions energy generated from the sun, wind and biomass to help meet its target of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product in its five-year plan through 2015. China wants to have 100 gigawatts of wind, 21 gigawatts of solar and 13 gigawatts of biomass power installed capacity by 2015, according to the statement.

By 2020, the country plans to double the wind capacity from 2015 and targets 50 gigawatts of solar and 30 gigawatts of biomass installed capacity.

The nation aims to have 40 gigawatts of nuclear power installed capacity by 2015.

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