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China to cap energy consumption through alternative fuels and efficiency

30 January 2013
China to cap energy consumption through alternative fuels and efficiency

BEIJING: Chinese Government has announced plans to cap energy consumption by 4 billion tons of coal equivalent by increasing clean energy use and improving energy efficiency, in a bid to boost energy security, lower emissions and lessen pollution levels.

China's State Council announced the new goals in its 12th five-year energy development plan, which states that alternative energy consumption will rise to 11.4% of primary energy use during the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-15). In 2012, alternative fuels claimed just 9.1% of energy consumption.

According to the plan, China aims to increase solar energy by 89.5%, wind energy by 26.4% and hydropower by 5.7%.

Other measures announced in China's State Council plan include:

  • energy efficiency to increase by 38%
  • energy consumption to be capped at 4 billion metric tons of standard coal
  • there will be a 16% drop in energy consumption per unit of GDP, compared with 2010 levels
  • coal-based energy consumption will be reduced to 65% from 2012's 66.4%.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group said: "Capping energy consumption is a significant step taken by Chinese Government towards a cleaner energy future. It adds to the evolving policy landscape in China, another important piece that further reinforces the country's efforts in restructuring its economy and industry towards sustainability.

"With high priority already given to energy efficiency and alternative energy, the newly set cap of 4 billion tons of coal equivalent energy consumption would allow only about 10% growth by 2015. Such a cap sets China on a solid foundation to travel towards a lower carbon economy, and also brings it closer to rolling out a cap and trade market which will reduce emissions in an even more cost-effective manner."

Read the China State Council 12th five-year energy development plan

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By Clare Saxon

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