China has announced it is targeting 70 gigawatts (GW) of solar power output by 2017 as part of a determined renewable energy drive.
A statement released on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website describes the goal as a doubling of the previous 2015 target. The country currently has 20GW of installed solar capacity.
In a bid to shift its reliance on fossil fuels, the world’s biggest polluter is also planning to install 150GW of wind power by 2017, as well as 11GW of biomass power and 330GW of hydropower. The ultimate target is for 13% of the nation’s energy to come from non-fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg.
This has created a vast market for renewable technologies. Gamesa Corp Technologica, a major renewable energy firm, recently won an order for 100 megawatts (MW) of wind turbines for China’s Yunnan province – the third order in two months in the world’s biggest market for wind turbines.
In 2013, China installed 45% of the world’s wind turbines; installing 16 100MW turbines last year. The country also intends to operate 40GW of nuclear plants by 2015, followed by 50GW by 2017.
This drive for renewable energy comes at a time when pollution levels in China are at an all-time high, with people in major cities frequently told to stay indoors as the smog reaches dangerous levels.
Sixty-four per cent of Chinese people in a recent poll by Motivication regarded themselves as environmentalists.
Photo: Patrick Moore via freeimages