China steps up renewable energy drive with revised 35% target

China has increased its 2030 target for the share of renewable energy in its electricity consumption to 35%, according to a revised draft plan from the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC).

The world’s biggest energy consumer had previously set a target for ‘non-fossil fuels’ to account for 20% of China’s energy use by 2030.

But the new plan, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), sets minimum consumption levels of electricity produced from renewable sources and will also attempt to alleviate the government’s subsidy burden in the renewables industry by raising revenue through penalties for non-compliance.

The document further reinforces China’s increasing focus on renewable energy as the nation looks to curb its heavy reliance on polluting coal-fired energy.

The NDRC also increased 2018 and 2020 non-hydro power consumption targets for some provinces, such as Inner Mongolia which will have to increase its usage to 18% this year from a previous goal of 13%.

“We see the new RPS consultation paper having more implementation details and is more favourable to operators,” commented BOCI Research Ltd analysts including Tony Fei in a report.