China targets environmental pollution
by new emphasis on renewable energy

By Sun Xiaohua
China Daily

China has set a target of increasing renewable energy use from the present 10 percent to 20 percent of the total energy consumption by 2020 to meet the increasing demand and reduce the greenhouse effect.

"Wind power has the greatest potential in renewable energy, and biomass will help in fuel consumption," said Wind Energy Association Vice-Chairman Shi Pengfei.

But renewable energy has its problems such as high costs and poor research and development, he said.

According to Li Junfeng, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institute, by the end of October 2006, the total installed capacity of wind and solar power in the country was 2.3 million kilowatts and 300 megawatts, respectively, a rise of 85 and 100 percent over 2005.

But shortage of funds hindered technological innovation in the bio-fuel sector because of which power generation grew only by 10 percent last year.

The development of renewable energy is expected to help the country reduce environmental pollution and eco-damage. The future of sustainable economic development relies on the improvement of efficiency, Xinhua quoted a United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) official as having said.

 "The future for sustainable economic development relies on cooperation across the world in industrial restructuring, efficiency improvement, adoption of renewable energies, and adjustment of the current modes of production and consumption," said UNEP Deputy Executive Director Shafqat Kakakhel in his letter to a recent economic forum held in North China's Tianjin.

In its bid to protect the environment and build an energy-saving society, the Chinese government will expedite the setting up of a standard scientific evaluation system for energy consumption to meet its energy and pollution targets, National Bureau of Statistics Director Xie Fuzhan said.

The Ministry of Finance has said the government will adopt new steps, including developing the pollutant emission trade and raising taxes for pollutant discharge this year, to speed up environmental protection, according to Xinhua.
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