WASHINGTON -- February 28 -- Today, the Chinese top legislature voted to pass China's first renewable energy promotion law, which will help the country meet ambitious targets for the uptake of renewable energy. Greenpeace welcomed China's commitment to clean renewable energy as the new law could kick-start a massive take-up of clean energy, such as wind power. With the potential to become a world leader in renewables, China could transform the global markets.
"China could and should be a world leader in renewable energy development. This law has long been anticipated by the global renewable energy industry. If the definition of renewables and the details are right then the international community will get behind China and support its ambition to become an international clean energy powerhouse," said Steve Sawyer from Greenpeace International.
The Renewable Energy Promotion Law, which takes effect on the 1January 2006, will allow the renewable energy industry in China to take off. The law guarantees grid access for renewable energy producers as well as spreading the costs of these new technologies across the electricity sector.
The law's enactment is a signal of China's intentions in relation to global climate protection efforts, as well as its commitment to cleaner air and energy security, and it is well timed with the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol two weeks ago. At present, China has no binding obligation under Kyoto, but as the world's second largest emitter of CO2, international attention has focused on the country and its efforts to curb CO2 emissions growth.
Renewable energy is seen as crucial and there is enormous international interest in China's potential as a huge market for wind power and other renewable energy technologies. The growth of the wind energy in China last year was 35%, even without the new law. China has similarly huge potential for solar, wave, tidal and biomass power and with energy efficiency could meet all its needs solely from clean energy.