China is stepping up its push into renewable energy, proposing higher green power consumption targets and penalizing those who fail to meet those goals to help fund government subsidies to producers.
The world’s biggest energy consumer is aiming for renewables to account for at least 35 percent of electricity consumption by 2030, according to a revised draft plan from the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) seen by Bloomberg. Previously, the government has only set a goal for “non-fossil fuels” to make up 20 percent of energy use by 2030.
The standard — which sets minimum consumption levels of electricity produced from renewable sources — is among efforts to ease the nation’s reliance on coal and combat pollution that blights the world’s most populous nation.
The NDRC also increased non-hydro power consumption targets for some provinces, including requiring Inner Mongolia to increase its use to 18 percent this year from a previous goal of 13 percent. Targets for regions such as Yunnan and Xinjiang have also been raised.
The latest document also called for non-compliant firms to pay compensation fees to grid companies, which will be used to cover government subsidies for renewable projects.
In recent years, China has pumped more money into renewable energy than any other country, leaving the government with a hefty subsidy bill.