China?s possible 2030 renewable energy target

According to a report by CRED of China, this country has practically achieved the 2020 renewable energy target (15% of primary energy consumption) and could aim to cover more than 25% of all in 2030. In China Renewable energy could cover more than 25% of primary energy demand by 2030 with wind energy and solar power (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power).

The latter was stated in a new report that compiled in 18 months by China’s CRED (Centre for Renewable Energy Development) with the support of REEEP (Renevable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership), one of the world’s main public-private networks.

The report outlined three growth scenarios (low, medium and high), based on the results of assessments and comparisons that took place in January among government planners and representatives of businesses, the field of research and associations for renewable development. The aim was that these scenarios should include – as much as possible – every technical, economic and political issue.

Based on projects that are currently being carried out, the achievement of the target set by the government that – by 2020 – 15% of primary energy needs will be covered by renewable sources, is largely taken for granted. On these grounds, the experts believe that more ambitious goals can be pursued, the top target being a 26.7% renewable share by 2030, which is technically and economically feasible.

However, the study acknowledges the difficulties that must be overcome to reach the most ambitious target and admits that, at present, the most likely scenario is the one which foresees that renewables will cover 22% of primary energy consumption by 2030. This consumption is expected to be 50% higher than it is today: from 3 billion tons of coal equivalent in 2009 (tce, amounting to 2.1 billion tons of oil equivalent) to about 4.5 billion tce in 2030.

The study also quantified the "economically feasible" capacity as regards the main renewable sources. This potential is estimated at nearly 6 million MW, more than 6 times the entire electrical capacity currently installed in China.