According to Hu Runqing, a lead researcher with the energy institute of the State Development and Reform Commission, China is looking to have renewable energy producing energy equivalent to 305 million tonnes of coal by 2020. Estimates place China’s domestic energy production at equivalent to around 2.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020, with demand rising to around 3.1 billion tonnes.
“This means [without intervention] that more than half of China’s petroleum and natural gas supply would rely on foreign resources,” said Hu.
Hu said with the securing of renewable energy as key aspect of Chinese energy security, an installed capacity equalling 40% of total production would be a possibility by 2030. China is estimated to have a potential 1 billion kW of wind power waiting to be tapped, as well as vast amounts of land able to support solar power and bio-energy power resources able to produce the same power as around 1.6 billion tonnes of coal by 2020.
In addition to the benefits of a secure internal power supply, Hu and the other researchers at the forum believe that China’s move towards strong renewable energy growth will provide a means to combat greenhouse gas emissions and the rampant pollution produced by its existing fossil fuel power generation.