China Announces Focus on Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power
Zhang Guobao, Director of China’s National Energy Administration, announced the country will place a higher priority on modifying energy systems this year, using renewable energy and nuclear power. The March 2nd statement emphasized the administration’s top concern – to fulfill the commitments China made at the Copenhagen climate summit.
The ten-year plan aims to provide 15% of total consumption from clean energy sources by 2020. Zhang said significant scientific research and development will be needed. The Chinese government will also invest billions in wind farms, solar power facilities, and nuclear energy plants. Zhang did not specify a date for public release of the plan.
Emphasizing the renewable energy thrust. Peng Xiaofeng, LDK Solar CEO and prominent Chinese business leader, recently stated, “"In 100 years, my view is that 60 percent of the world's energy will come from solar power. This is not an optimistic prediction. The PhotoVoltaic Industry Association (one of the solar energy industry's main trade bodies) puts the figure at 80 percent."
Wu Yin, Deputy Director of the Chinese National Energy Administration, stated March 8 that enhancing effectiveness of the energy blend while lowering carbon emissions is a worldwide goal. China has 11 operating nuclear power plants, with twenty-one units under construction, for a 23 gigawatt combined capacity.
Although China is far behind Japan and the US in smart grid development, a key to efficient power use, it is investing heavily in grid infrastructure. IBM, Google, Microsoft and Cisco are all developing smart grid systems, and IBM recently revealed an Energy and Utilities Solutions Lab in Beijing.