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China’s Spending on Renewable Energy May Total 1.8 Trillion Yuan

China’s Spending on Renewable Energy May Total 1.8 Trillion Yuan
Flags fly in front of wind turbines at the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city in Tianjin, China, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

China’s spending to develop renewable energy may total 1.8 trillion yuan ($294 billion) in the five years through 2015 as part of the nation’s efforts to counter climate change, according to a government official.

China may invest another 2.3 trillion yuan in key energy-saving and emission-reducing projects, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said today at a conference in Beijing. China stands by its pledge to cut carbon emissions per unit of economic output by as much as 45 percent before 2020 from 2005 levels, he said.

The increased reliance on renewable sources of energy fits with efforts by China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, to help mitigate the effects of pollution blanketing its major cities. Along with renewables investments, the environment ministry is considering stricter controls on vehicle and industry pollution.

The government aims to have 100 gigawatts of wind-power installed capacity and more than 35 gigawatts of solar power by 2015, Xie reiterated today. China’s targets have encouraged companies including China Petrochemical Corp., also known as Sinopec Group, to strengthen their commitment to protect the environment.

Sinopec yesterday said it will invest 22.9 billion yuan on an environmental protection plan.

China asked seven cities and provinces last year to put in place regional caps and pilot programs for trading emission rights.

The country will gradually expand the regions falling under its carbon trading pilot program starting from 2015 in order to explore the potential for a national system, Xie said.

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