BRICS keen to team up on wind energy and solar power

The five BRICS nations intend to focus and work together on developing alternative energy sources.

When Bu Xiaolin, vice governor of China’s coal-rich Inner Mongolia autonomous region, spoke over the weekend in front of hundreds of BRICS delegates on regional energy strategies, she mentioned little of the fossil fuels that have long contributed to the region’s growth.

Like many other speakers at the 1st BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum, which ran from Dec. 1-3 in Sanya, Hainan province, she devoted large part of her speech to discussing wind turbines and solar energy.

"Facing the prospects of running out of fossil energy and the related environmental issues, developing new energy is an inevitable choice," said Bu.

The forum at this seaside resort over the weekend attracted hundreds of local governors, scholars and business people from the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — to discuss city-to-city cooperation, and new energy was among the top agenda topics.

Consensus had been reached at the forum that the five countries should strengthen dialogue and cooperation for provincial and local partnerships, including infrastructure, green economy and technology transfer.

"We are very willing to cooperate with BRICS countries on new energy innovations, promotion and market development," said Bu.

According to Bu, Inner Mongolia has huge potential in new energy, with 380 million kilowatts of exploitable wind energy resources, accounting for more than half of China’s on-shore wind power resources.

The region is aiming for a total installed capacity of 33 million kilowatts for wind power and one million kilowatts for solar power by the end of 2015, she added.

At national level, the Chinese central government expects to bring the country’s total wind farm installed capacity up to 150 million kilowatts in the next five years, according to national development plans.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, there is movement to replace fossil energy with new energy in daily use, said Jailson Lima Da Silva, State Representative of the National Union of State Legislatures of Brazil.

The country is working to increase the nation’s wind power capacity, and new energy is expected to account for 65 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption, he said.

"Brazil is optimistic on wind power exploitation, which will be one of the major fields of future investment," he said.

Silva expressed hopes to work with China on new energy, especially solar power and biomass energy. "Brazil has large potential in solar energy, while China is a leading producers of solar equipment," he said.

According to Mlibo Qoboshiyane, a member of the Executive Council of Eastern Cape, South Africa, the African nation is also investing extensively in wind turbines and solar energy.

South Africa has just unveiled a 12-billion-U.S.-dollar program on renewable energy development, which would largely be spent on wind energy and solar power and reduce the use of traditional energies, said the official.

It would be helpful to exchange technologies and valuable information between the BRICS countries to keep consumption of new energies sustainable and affordable, he said.