The aim to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 17 percent between 2011 and 2015 is part of China’s previously stated goal of reducing carbon intensity by 40 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels, AFP reports.
Wen said the country aims to generate 11.4 percent of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2015, up from 8.3 percent last year. China has previously stated a goal of meeting 15 percent of energy demand from renewable energy by 2020.
“We will effectively conserve resources and protect the environment. We will respond actively to climate change,” Wen said in a speech to open the annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.
He said that energy consumption per unit of GDP fell 19.1 percent over the past five years, just missing the country’s original target of 20 percent.
Wen said the country had made “genuine progress in energy conservation, emissions reduction, ecological improvement and environmental protection” between 2006 and 2010, and had “vigorously developed clean energy” technologies.
But the country relies on coal for more than two-thirds of its energy needs, the AFP reported.
Recent research by Zpryme projected that the value of China’s smart grid market will rise from $22.3 billion to $61.4 billion over the next five years, providing a market unrivalled by any in the world.
China’s ambitious smart grid plans are part of the government’s plans to meet soaring demand, move electricity from resource centers in the west to load centers in the east, and meet goals on carbon emissions and renewable energy.
China has topped Ernst & Young’s renewable energy country attractiveness index for several quarters running. Most recently (pdf), it scored 71, four points ahead of the second-placed U.S.
But while China has made great strides in renewable installations – this year becoming the country with the most installed wind power capacity – much of that power has nowhere to go. About 30 percent of wind turbines in China are not connected to a transmission network, Zpryme said.
Picture credit: Jim Winstead