China to Increase Wind, Solar Power Capacity by 21 Percent in 2016

China, the world’s biggest clean energy investor, plans to increase wind and solar power capacity by more than 21 percent next year as it works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting its reliance on coal.

The nation is targeting at least 20 GW of new wind power installations and 15 GW of additional solar PV capacity next year, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on Tuesday.

China has pledged to peak carbon emissions around 2030, by which time it aims to derive 20 percent of the energy it uses from clean sources. China will also stop approving new coal mines in the next three years, the Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, citing National Energy Administration head Nur Bekri.

The world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions is expected at the end of this year to have a total of 120 GW of wind power, 43 GW of solar, and 320 GW of hydro power, the NEA said. To accommodate the clean energy additions, China will promote the construction of electricity networks, the agency said.

China will also accelerate hydro power construction in the southwest, the NEA said.

To subsidize renewable energy projects, the nation plans to raise a surcharge slapped onto electricity bills by about 27 percent to 0.019 yuan a kWh, China’s top-economy agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Wednesday.

The move, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, could help ease the mismatch between the surcharges and what the government pays out to renewable power developers. At the moment, the gap is threatening the nation’s plans to use more clean energy as part of efforts to combat climate change.

©2015 Bloomberg News

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