November 10, 2016 Read More →

‘Coal Boomtown in China Warms to Renewables’

Christine Chou for the China Post:

While China’s push for clean energy threatens to transform former coal boomtowns such as Shaanxi Province’s Yulin into so-called “ghost cities,” the city’s government plans to buck the trend.

Officials in Yulin hope to ride a wave of expansion in renewables and other sectors to diversify the city’s economy.

Shaanxi has in the past prospered thanks to an abundance of coal, oil and salt.

But as China looks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, Yulin is seeking to restructure its economy by developing sectors such as tourism, green agriculture and renewables.

The changes in Yulin are a clear indication of a major shift occurring across the country, with China poised to move from a leading emitter of greenhouse gases to leader in clean energy investment.

The country’s solar and wind energy capacity soared last year by 74-percent and 34-percent respectively compared to 2014, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

This ambitious push for clean energy is further bolstered by policies encouraging energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy projects domestically.

The Renewable Energy Law, passed in 2005 and amended in 2009, provided a framework for regulation of such projects.

China is aiming as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan to source 11.4-percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015, and 15-percent by 2020.

Meanwhile, its consumption of coal dropped by 3.7-percent, with imports of the fuel falling by 30-percent.

“The latest figures confirm China’s record-breaking shift toward renewable power and away from coal,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’ Tim Buckley said in a recent report.

Full article: Coal boomtown in China warms to renewables

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