In China renewable energy is now seen as socially beneficial, creating jobs in remote areas without air pollution


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In view of the serious air-pollution problems in some parts of China it is good to hear about the development of renewable energy from Karsten Sach, deputy director general for European and international environment policy at the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

karsten sach ger env minDuring an interview with the South China Morning Post in Berlin, he observed that in China renewable energy is reaching the market faster than nuclear power:

“If you analyse the last 10 years, the thinking in China has shifted more and more towards renewables. I see that renewables are getting to the markets quicker than expected and nuclear energy is getting to the markets slower than expected”.

Beijing’s 12th five-year plan for 2011 to 2015 includes increasing:

  • hydropower capacity to 290GW,
  • solar power capacity to 21GW,
  • on-grid wind power capacity to 100GW
  • and capacity for generating energy by burning biomass to 7.5GW by 2015.

By then, the country hopes that 20% of the electricity it generates will come from renewable sources. Installed nuclear capacity is expected to reach 40GW by 2015.

Karsten Sach said the country understood it could deliver energy in a socially beneficial way, without air pollution, and create jobs in remote areas. China recognises that renewables will form a world market in the future.



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