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Renewable Energy Gets a Boost
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The country plans to spend around one-tenth of its 2006 GDP in the next decade or so to develop renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the top economic planner revealed Tuesday.

"Overall, around 2 trillion yuan (US$265 billion) of investment is needed to meet the renewable energy target by 2020," the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.

Chen Deming, vice-minister of NDRC, reiterated China's medium- and long-term target to boost the renewable energy sector.

The NDRC plans to raise the ratio of renewable energy in total energy consumption to 10 percent by 2010 and 15 percent by 2020, compared to 8 percent now, Chen said.

China generates much less greenhouse gases than developed countries, but treats the issue seriously and spares no effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions by enhancing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy, Chen said.

Setting an explicit target for renewable energy generation is part of the country's commitment to save energy and cut emissions, he added.

"We will adopt measures to guide and encourage the development of renewable energy. We will come up with various taxation and fiscal incentives, including subsidies and tax breaks," Chen said.

The preferential policies will treat all companies, either private or State-owned, equally, Chen promised.

Other measures are also being implemented.

"We will require real estate developers to install solar power equipment in their projects. Large State-owned energy enterprises will be set quotas to invest in the development of renewable energy," Chen said.

Analysts say most of the 2 trillion yuan investment by 2020 will come from the market, with only a small proportion from the government.

"As long as there are favorable policies from the government, market investment will support the development of renewable energy," Han Xiaoping, an independent analyst with China5e.com, said.

Market-oriented preferential policies may include setting higher prices for electricity generated by renewable energy, Han added.

He said hydropower and wind power are priorities for developing renewable energy, because of the vast potential and advanced technology.

(China Daily September 5, 2007)

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