A post-2020 climate-control action plan, to be submitted by China to the United Nations by the end of this month, will have huge influence on future global energy research and innovation, according to the head of the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency.
Adnan Amin, IRENA’s director-general, said in Beijing on June 26 that the agency was “very excited” about the announcement, calling the plan “a signal for the clean energy industry, not only in China but also for the whole world”.
Xie Zhenhua, special representative for climate change affairs at the National Development and Reform Commission, said on June 23 in Washington that the plan could involve estimated investment of more than 41 trillion yuan ($6.6 trillion) by 2030.
China accounts for one-fifth of all global energy consumption, and industry experts have said such a high level of investment will greatly promote research and innovation of renewable energies.
China already has the world’s largest installed capacity of wind and hydroelectric power, as well as the vast majority of solar power and biogas installations.
China has set a goal to increase its share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030, which Amin described as ambitious but achievable.
He said a study by his agency showed China could realistically achieve the scaling up of its modern renewable sources to 26 percent by 2030, by adopting all the potential renewable energy technologies available.
The IRENA director-general also said that China could have installed more new renewable energy capacity than all of Europe and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region put together by 2030.
As China enters the next phase of its development, the so-called new normal of lower but sustainable growth, Amin said the transition will provide many lessons for countries around the world on how to improve the quality of their own economic progress.
He said ensuring a green economy is not only about environmental issues, it is about making sure future development is not going to exceed the natural limits of the environment.
Amin emphasized the importance for China of creating a more secure, sustainable and cleaner energy base during that transition.
Investment in renewable energy in China hit $83.3 billion in 2014, compared to $62.2 billion the previous year, according to figures in the Global Status Report, published by the United Nations-backed Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.