China wants to cut emissions by 20% by 2020
China has launched what they are calling a 'green revoultion', in a plan to use wind and solar power to reduce their carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, which would match the goal set by the western world. A fifth of China's energy needs would come from renewable energy sources if this was the case.
Zhang Xiaoqiang, the vice-chairman of China's national development and reform commission said that Beijing could easily attain these targets and was even considering targets that were three times higher. The new goal for wind energy could be 100GW by 2020, rather than 30 GW.
"Similarly, by 2020 the total installed capacity for solar power will be at least three times that of the original target [3GW]," Zhang said in an interview in London. China generates only 120 megawatts of its electricity from solar power, so the goal represents a 75-fold expansion in just over a decade.
"We are now formulating a plan for development of renewable energy. We can be sure we will exceed the 15% target. We will at least reach 18%. Personally I think we could reach the target of having renewables provide 20% of total energy consumption."
This could be seen as a challenge to Europe's leadership in green energy, as China seems to have more ambitious energy projects.
Beijing seeks to achieve these goals by directing a significant share of China's $590bn economic stimulus package to low-carbon investment. Of that total, more than $30bn will be spent directly on environmental projects and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.