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2021-02-18 06:51:15

China is poised to roll out specific targets for provinces’ green energy use, as the country’s ambitious goal of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 looms.

All of China’s provincial-level regions, except Tibet, are to be given specific yearly targets for renewables’ share of their total power consumption for the years leading up to 2030, according to an internal draft plan the National Energy Administration (NEA) sent to local energy authorities on Feb. 5.

The plan, open to feedback until Feb. 26, aims to ramp up the national share of renewables — which include hydrogen, wind, solar, and biomass — to 40% by 2030.

The targets vary among the 30 regions involved, with some having a long way to go and others having already achieved a satisfactory level. More developed regions such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong need to increase their renewables shares from the range of 15% to 25% this year to around 30% by 2026, and eventually up to 40%.

For eight regions, mostly located in central and western parts of China, which have renewables shares of between 40% and 70% this year, the draft plan only asks them to ensure the proportion doesn’t decline in the coming years.

The targets could help fulfill the country’s commitment to installing 1.2 billion kilowatts of wind and solar power capacity by 2030, the plan said. President Xi Jinping announced the pledge at the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in December.

The target is more than twice the country’s current wind and solar capacity, which stood at 530 million kilowatts at the end of 2020, according to the NEA. But Tao Ye, deputy director of a research center under China’s top economic planner, told Caixin the capacity goal should be further boosted to 1 billion kilowatts by 2025 and 1.6 billion kilowatts by 2030 in order for renewable sources to make up 40% of the total energy mix.

The draft plan also seeks to boost the share of non-fossil fuels — which include renewables and nuclear energy — in China’s national power use to 25% by 2030, another goal Xi set at the U.N. summit. The share at the end of 2019 was 15.3%.

This is an original article written by Chen Xuewan and Lu Yutong of Caixin Global, and has been republished with permission. The article can be found on Caixin’s website here.

(Header image: A wind farm in Yumen, Gansu province, 2018. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone)