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An Interpretation of “Development Goals for Renewable Energy may Increase in the Twelfth Five-year Plan” from The Climate Group

31 August 2011
An Interpretation of “Development Goals for Renewable Energy may Increase in the Twelfth Five-year Plan” from The Climate Group
By Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group. 

(2011-08-31 19:54:47)

The idea for development of China’s renewable energy in the next five years has been basically clear. The Twelfth Five-year Plan for renewable energy development is expected to be introduced in the near future. The latest overall goal is during the Twelfth Five-year period, the nationwide commercialized renewable energy takes up 9.5% or more of total energy consumption.

Goals greatly increased

According to the latest revealed renewable energy development goals, the installed capacity goals of hydropower, wind power and solar power in 2015 will see a great increase on the goals revealed in the beginning of the year: hydropower to increase from 250GW to 260GW, wind power from 90GW to 100GW and solar power from 5GW to 10GW.

Goals for Renewable Energy raised in the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” (capacity, GW)

      Early Revealed Goals/Latest Revealed Goals

Hydropower 250 260

Wind Power 90 100

Photovoltaic Power 5 10

Biomass power 13 13

Geothermal Energy N / A 0.1

Tidal Energy N / A 0.01-0.02

Ocean Energy N / A 0.05

There are two reasons for increasing the goals: (1) During the past Eleventh Five-Year period, renewable energy planning goals appeared to fall far behind the actual development. In the "Twelfth Five-year Plan", the goals are more scientific and reasonable, and taking into account the grid capacity and power consumption problems, it is not very likely that the actual development of renewable energy exceeds the planned goals. (2) Japan’s nuclear accident in the first half of the year will have an impact on the development speed of China's nuclear power, slower than expected in the beginning of the year, therefore, photovoltaic and wind power and other renewable energy sources will assume greater responsibility, to ensure the realization of the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan” in which non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption ratio reaches 11.4% by 2015.

New trends in development strategy

Offshore wind power, concentrated solar power (CSP), geothermal energy, tidal energy, ocean energy and other emerging technologies will play a more and more important role. By the end of 2015, offshore wind power installed capacity will reach 5GW, accounting for 5% of the total wind power; CSP installed capacity will reach 1GW, 4 times more than the 2020 Target (0.2GW) for renewable energy in the long-term plan. In addition, the plan will also raise targets for the development of geothermal energy, tidal energy and ocean energy— by the end of 2015, geothermal power installed capacity to reach 100MW, tidal energy installed capacity to reach 10MW-20MW and ocean energy to 50MW.

Distributed renewable energy will get more attention. One of the goals for wind power development is that the total installed capacity of distributed wind will reach 25GW by the end of Twelfth Five-year, accounting for 25 % of the installed capacity of cumulative wind power. The strategy for wind power development in China will shift from concentrated large-scale development into combined large-scale and distributed development, from focusing on installed capacity to wind power use. Off-grid solar power and the distributed power plants will aim to reached 2GW, accounting for 20% of the total installed capacity of solar power.

Mechanisms to protect intensified

In the Twelfth Five-year, the Chinese government will encourage and promote some mechanisms to play a greater role, including (1) encourage renewable energy generating companies to have direct deal with consumers and introduce competition in the renewable energy sector to form a more rational pricing mechanism for renewable energy; (2) promote the establishment of renewable energy quota system, set quota for annual acquisition of non-hydro renewable energy, ratio for large-scale power plants to invest in renewable energy projects, and target  for consumption of renewable energy in different regions. Although these mechanisms have been proposed in the Eleventh Five-Year period, the implementation process is rather slow. In the Twelfth Five-year, more operational implementation rules are expected to put forward.

The increase in renewable energy development goals demonstrates the determination of the Chinese Government to actively support renewable energy development. Junfeng Li, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute of China's National Development and Reform Commission, believes that "the state’s commitment to the development of renewable energy in the Twelfth Five-year will not change and it will continue to increase efforts in the future. " The Climate Group believes that with the gradual introduction of supporting industrial policies and more reasonable and workable implementation rules, there will emerge more business opportunities for renewable energy-related industries.

Back to Changhua Wu's Blog

Translated by Ge Xin 

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