China plans to have 33 percent of its electricity sourced from renewable power sources in a new renewables plan by 2025.
China, which had a 28.8 percent share of renewable electricity in 2020, also looks to raise the share of non-fossil fuel energy in its overall energy mix to 20 percent by 2025, according to the new five-year plan from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) cited by Reuters.
Non-fossil fuels accounted for 15.4 percent of China's primary energy consumption in 2020, Reuters notes.
China, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, is also the key growth driver of renewable power capacity installation globally. Solar and wind power installations have surged in recent years, but China has put more emphasis on energy security in recent months.
Although China looks to start cutting coal consumption after 2026, it is still planning to build new coal capacity. It also left the door wide open to more coal in the renewable plan.
Earlier this year, China said it would continue to maximize the use of coal in the coming years as it caters to its energy security, despite pledges to contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions. Chinese President Xi Jinping has told representatives from its biggest coal-producing region, Inner Mongolia, that China "could not part from reality" and that it is "rich in coal, poor in oil and short of gas." The energy transition is a long process, and China cannot just "slam the brakes" on coal, according to Xi.
China is concerned about its energy security after the autumn 2021 power crisis and, most recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which pushed energy commodity prices sky-high.
China needs to accelerate efforts to decarbonize, including reducing coal consumption, the latest UN climate report says, while China has placed emphasis on coal production and coal-fired generation at least in the next few years as it prioritizes energy security.
China is one of the laggards in emissions reductions and its short-term energy policies are incompatible with the global targets, one of the report's authors said in April.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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