China’s Evolving Renewable Energy Industry

The May 2007 edition of China Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Report continues its focus on the companies and trends that comprise China’s progress in the industry — with insights translated from the Mandarin by Lou Schwartz, president and publisher, China Strategies, LLC.

“Chinese energy experts are estimating that by 2050 the percentage of China’s energy requirements that are satisfied by coal-fired plants will have declined to 30-50% of total energy consumption,” writes Schwartz in summing up China’s Energy Production and Consumption, “and that the remaining 50-70% will be provided by a combination of oil, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power, biomass and other renewable energy sources.”

According to the report, China plans to develop 120,000 MW of renewable energy by the year 2020; this would account for 12% of China’s total installed energy producing capacity. China’s ambitious growth target for renewable energy production will require an investment of approximately 800 billion Yuan (US$100 billion) by 2020.

“In the long term, China has set an objective of having 30% or more of its total energy requirements satisfied by renewable sources by 2050,” notes Schwartz. The in-depth report examines developments across China’s renewable energy industry, including:

— Solar: In China there now are six factories producing at least 2 MW/year each of mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and non-crystalline photovoltaic batteries [panels]. A recent article in the Chinese renewable energy press enumerates some of the obstacles to further development of the Chinese solar energy sector that China faces.

— Wind: According to reports from the 2007 China (Shanghai) International Wind Energy Exhibition held on April 10, 2007 at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center, by 2010, 5% of Shanghai’s energy needs will be generated from wind power.

— Hydropower: In 2006 there was 10,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity that went into operation in China. The National Development and Reform Commission also approved 13 additional hydropower projects in 2006, which cumulatively will have 19,511 MW of power generating capacity.

— Biomass & Biofuels: Based on planned ethanol projects in some provinces in China, the output of corn would be insufficient to provide the raw material for those plants in those provinces. In the recently published World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund expressed concern that there would be increasing competition worldwide between biofuels and food consumption for agricultural products and that that competition likely would continue to result in increases in prices of crops.

Other sections in this monthly cover Laws and Policies Governing Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development in China, Business Opportunities in China’s Renewable Energy Industry, companies, and energy conservation in China. A link to the full May 2007 issue of China Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Report is available below.

Lou Schwartz, president of China Strategies, LLC, and publisher of China Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Report, earned degrees in East Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and Harvard University where he studied Chinese language and literature, economics and law among other disciplines. Lou also earned a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Lou has worked on various matters involving China’s legal system, economic development, trade and investment while with a large U.S. law firm and currently as President of China Strategies, LLC.

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