In an attempt to deal with one of the gravest challenges faced by the country, the Chinese state allocated $361 billion (2.5 trillion yuan) to be invested in renewable energy. The plan is to distribute these funds over the period of five years, up until 2020.
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An announcement voiced by the spokesman at the National Energy Administration states that such a move is expected to create 13 million new jobs in the Chinese energy sector. The program aims to grow the total share of renewable sources in the total energy production to 15 percent which is equivalent to 580 million tons of coal.
The government expects all renewable sources, including nuclear and hydroelectric power stations, to account for half of the electricity produced in China in three years as of now.
Following the US and Russia, China is the third largest country in the world as per explored coal reserves, and the world’s largest consumer of coal. The vast reserves of natural resources fostered the industrial revolution but severe environmental concerns caused this energy source to be claimed as hazardous. Chinese cities have become notorious for the smog which paralyzes the life of their inhabitants for several days or even weeks in a row.
Like other global industrial leaders, China is attempting to shift to renewables like solar, wind, nuclear and water energy. Despite the obvious environmental problems it’s still facing, the success is nevertheless remarkable: the country became the global leader in generating solar energy in 2016.
Precise details of the investment plan remain unannounced, however, the spokesman revealed some of the most important figures. In particular, wind farms will receive the top priority with 700 billion yuan allocated to it, followed by hydro stations (500 billion yuan) and geothermal and tidal energy (360 billion yuan).
In 2016, economists from China, Great Britain and the United States reported that China reduced coal production and consumption. They believe this was made possible thanks to three main reasons: economic slowdown, decline in the coal industry and existing economic policy aimed at reducing China’s dependence on fossil fuels.
As was reported earlier, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced the solar energy plants in China are to receive 1 trillion yuan of investment to reach the 5-year target of increasing their production capacities by 5 times.