The World Bank has approved a loan of US$87 million to China for the financing of the Renewable Energy Scale-up Program, supplemented by a grant of US$40.22 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The project's objective is to expand renewable electricity supply in China efficiently, cost effectively and on a large scale, according to a statement from the bank on Wednesday.
The Renewable Energy Scale-up Program, the largest of its kind supported by the Bank and GEF in recent years, will support the government in implementing its strategy.
The project is expected to induce an increased capacity of renewable electricity of more than 200,000 kilowatts, reduce carbon emissions by about 800 million tons, total suspended particulate emissions by more than 800 million tons, sulfur oxide emissions by more than 30 million tons, and nitrogen oxides emissions by more than 6 million tons.
The project will take place in four pilot provincial areas, including coastal province of Fujian in east China, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China, and east China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
It will finance a 100,000 kilowatt wind farm in Fujian Province and a pilot 25,000 kilowatt biomass-fired generation unit in Jiangsu Province. It will also provide grant funds which will support the government's efforts to jump-start further development of projects and the transfer of up-to-date wind and biomass technology from international suppliers.
WB Task Manager for the Project Noureddine Berrah said the project has come to life largely thanks to the commitment, dedication and hard work of many people at many levels in China.
"The Project will support the implementation of a national policy framework that would legally require a share of electricity supply to be met from renewable resources. It will also support cost reduction of equipment to increase the competitiveness of high potential renewable energy technologies over time through improvements to the quality and performance of equipment and strengthening of the capability of the service industries in Chinaso as to enable them to respond to the increased market demand."
China is a world leader in the development of renewable energy resources, especially small hydropower. In the past, the focus of this development has been on providing rural areas far from power grids with access to electricity.
However, China's abundant undeveloped resources of small hydropower, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy also could help the country reduce some of the environmental damage from its overwhelming dependence on coal for large-scale, grid-based power generation. Such a reorientation of China's renewable energy development faces a number of technical, administrative and capacity constraints.
China has recently devised a comprehensive renewable energy strategy for making power generation from renewable energy sources competitive, on an economic basis, with coal-fired power plants in supplying electricity to large-scale power grids.
(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2005)