Local governments face non-renewable energy consumption ceilings

Feature Story - 2011-11-04
Jiang Bing, Director of the Development and Planning Department of the National Energy Administration (NEA), said on October 23 that on top of the provincial energy cap that will be released soon, the central government is also setting a renewable energy deductible plan. According to Jiang, this plan will allow local consumption of hydropower, wind, solar, and energy to be deducted from each government's overall energy consumption total.

Wind power in China

We see this news as a positive step forward in putting China onto the path of diminishing its reliance on coal while opening new windows for renewable energy. But it's worth noting that the effectiveness of this deductible plan is largely depended on whether the provincial energy consumption ceiling is strictly controlled. Therefore, we're asking for an ambitious local energy consumption target. This target, if carefully designed, will initiate healthy competition between coal and renewable energy and eventually bring China with a cleaner energy structure.

Our energy campaigner Li Ang comments: "for the deductible plan to work, the key is to have enough pressure over the energy consumption target."

Previously a Greenpeace report, China Energy [r]evolution, found that an increase in energy efficiency would reduce China's energy demand by 40% by 2050, and renewable energy could satisfy over 50% of the country's electricity consumption.

Currently coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of manmade carbon dioxide emissions. This makes burning coal the single greatest threat facing our climate. Eighty percent of China's carbon dioxide emissions come from burning coal. It supplies more than 70% of the country's energy needs and 80% of the country's electricity. If we are to stop climate change, then China must move away from coal to renewable energy.

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