China to Cap Electricity Growth at 8 Percent Through 2015

China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is seeking to cap the growth of electricity consumption at 8 percent a year from 2010 to 2015, and will limit the installation of new coal-fired power plants while boosting the share that comes from wind, solar and nuclear.

In an outline of energy-development goals under the country’s 12th five-year plan, China plans to reduce energy consumption by 16 percent annually and carbon emissions by 17 percent, as measured per unit of gross domestic product, from 2010 to 2015, according to a statement today on the website of China’s State Council, China’s cabinet.

The plan, which anticipates a near doubling of consumer power consumption per capita, calls for China to get 11.4 percent of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2015, up from 8.6 percent in 2010, while reducing coal’s share of generating capacity from 68 percent in 2010 to less than 65 percent.

China had a total of 39 gigawatts of renewable-energy capacity in 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Under the plan, power generated by solar plants will increase by 89.5 percent a year over the same period, wind capacity will increase 26.4 percent, nuclear power by 29.9 percent, natural gas by 16.2 percent and coal by 7.8 percent.

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