Renewables and Alternative Energy
This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.
In his address to the World Economic Forum today, Chinese President Xi showed China’s willingness to step into a growing global leadership role, including on climate change. Xi called for all countries to hold fast to the hard-won Paris Agreement, saying “walking away” from the pact would threaten future generations, and that green development is already showing promising results. This was a continuation of the stance China took during the climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco last year, where the country indicated its intent to advance ambitious climate action.
This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog.
As 2017 begins, China is poised to leap ahead of the United States on clean energy to become the most important player in the global market. Last year, China increased its foreign investment in renewables by 60 percent to reach a record $32 billion, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. This includes 11 new overseas investment deals worth more than $1 billion each.
When it was first announced in late 2014, China’s climate pledge was a bold and unprecedented step that gave new confidence to global efforts to mitigate climate change. This pledge, enshrined in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, commits the country to peak its emissions at latest by 2030 through steady reductions in carbon intensity and deployment of non-fossil energy. As the world’s largest energy user and emitter, and second largest economy, China’s move placed a significant dent in global emissions projections at the time.
Today, the combination of China’s economic slowdown and proactive government realignment of internal priorities toward more sustainable growth has led to lower projections of the country’s emissions trajectory. The question is no longer whether or not China will be able to meet its pledge—indeed, a peak sooner than 2030 looks well within reach, suggesting China’s climate pledge was both prudent and credible.
- Q: How have the joint U.S.-China announcements helped create momentum for global climate action?
- Q: What steps is China taking toward its goals?
A: China has been taking action to strengthen all the building blocks of its low-carbon strategy, and continues to do so.
- Q: Do we have reason to believe that China will follow through on its commitments?
A: Yes. China has already made progress on its energy and emissions targets and has strong reasons of national interest to build on its current efforts.
- Q: What is the benefit of the U.S. and China, and many other countries, taking action together?
- Q: With countries acting together, each can have confidence its actions are part of a global effort to address climate change. Moving forward together yields increasing opportunities for all.
- As of 2015, China got 12% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. China’s 13th Five Year Plan aims to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to 15% in 2020. As part of its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, China committed to increase the non-fossil share to around 20% by 2030.
- Wind Power: China ranks first in the world in installed wind power capacity, with 139 GW by the end of 2015.
- Solar Power: China has surpassed Germany to become the world leader in installed solar power, with 50 GW of solar capacity installed by the end of 2015.
- China is the world’s leading installer of solar and wind power, with world records for capacity installation in 2015 and targets for 100 GW of solar and 200 GW of wind installed by 2020.
- Investment: For the fourth straight year, China was the number one investor in renewable energy in 2015 with $102.9 billion, accounting for over a third of global investment.
This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:
China’s Renewable Energy Law prohibits curtailment, but the problem persists, partly for technical reasons. However, a large part of the problem is not technical. In practice, fossil fuel power plants have priority over renewables, leaving less room for solar and wind power in a country with a large overcapacity of coal-fired power. There is also a lack of clarity on how the renewable energy integration mandate should be enforced. Better-designed and -implemented policies can help. In the last two months, China’s government has thrown three punches to tackle the problem.
This post originally appeared on the World Resources Institute’s live blog covering the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To follow the signing ceremony via WRI’s live blog, click here.
The signing of the landmark international climate change agreement reached in Paris in December is taking place today at the United Nations in New York. China is represented by Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of China, and Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Zhang said that after China signs the Paris Agreement today, it will work hard to earnestly implement it. Zhang said China will finalize its internal process to join the agreement before it hosts the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, and will encourage other G20 members to quickly join the agreement as well.
U.S. and China To Sign, Join Paris Agreement This Year, Deepen Cooperation on Climate and Clean Energy
The United States and China have issued a joint presidential statement confirming that they will each sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and take steps to join the agreement as early as possible this year, and calling on other countries to do the same. This statement builds on the action generated by the presidential joint statements over the last two years, which has been an important catalyst of international action on climate change. The new showing of mutual confidence and continued commitment will contribute to worldwide momentum to tackle climate change and implement the Paris Agreement.
China recently released its 13th Five Year Plan, which will guide China’s economic, social, and environmental policy through 2020. The plan makes clear that China is integrating climate action into its strategy for economic development. It sets China on course to meet or exceed its international climate commitments, and lays out a strategy for a rebalancing of the economy toward cleaner drivers of growth.
To analyze the key elements of the Five Year Plan in the context of the progress China has achieved and the country’s remaining challenges, ChinaFAQs organized a press conference call on March 18th.
For the audio of the press call, click here.
Based on recent economic developments and the newly-released Thirteenth Five-Year Plan, China is well on its way to reaching its climate goal of peak CO2 emissions by 2030.
The Plan charts the overarching course of China’s economic and social development through 2020, and will be translated into plans for provinces and specific sectors like energy in the coming months and years. The national plan, by reflecting the government’s high-level priorities, provides important momentum toward meeting China’s climate change commitments.