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Published on December 1st, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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China: Yet Another Strong Renewable Energy Push



It’s no secret, China is pumping money into clean, renewable energy like Americans are pumping money into McDonald’s and Walmart. The latest big announcement is that it is going to double the surcharge on power sales to further subsidize renewables.

“The National Development and Reform Commission said on Wednesday that the government would increase the surcharge on power sales from December 1 to 0.008 yuan per kilowatt hour from 0.004 yuan per kwh,” Reuters reports.

“A doubling of the renewable energy surcharge should benefit mostly wind,” said Min Li, a Yuanta Securities renewable energy analyst. “Assuming half of the funding is used, we estimate the doubled surcharge can support at least 70 gigawatts of wind power capacity in the near term.”

70 gigawatts! Installed wind power capacity, worldwide, was 197 gigawatts just at the end of 2010.

Of course, this has sent a boost to Chinese renewable energy companies on the stock market.

China’s top wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group Co Ltd was up nearly 5 percent by midday Thursday, while Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd and Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Co Ltd each gained more than 3 percent.

Wafer and polysilicon maker GCL Poly Energy Holdings Ltd gained 8 percent in Hong Kong, while Solargiga Energy Holdings Ltd was up 6 percent and Comtec Solar Systems Group Ltd was up 6.7 percent against a 5.85 percent surge in the Hang Seng Index.

U.S.-listed Chinese solar panel makers Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd, Trina Solar Ltd and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd soared more than 10 percent on Wednesday.

China passed up the U.S. as the leading installer of wind energy in recent years. And it has also started pumping a lot more into solar. Earlier this year, it doubled its 2015 solar power capacity target from 5GW to 10GW.

Note that China passed legislation in 2006 that requires power companies buy all of the power generated in their jurisdiction by renewable energy projects. (Note, though, that this new surcharge rate does not increase the amount of money power companies pay for each unit of power produced — it just increases the pool of money available for supporting clean energy.)

China & Renewable Energy image via shutterstock

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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  • Mattschattner

    This is great, but the other side of the coin is the immense trash and pollution problem the country is facing. These is no infastructure to handle the mass amounts of trash in that country and kids are developing serious health issues from it. I feel that although China has surpassed the US in terms of solar and wind, but they arer still eons behind the US in terms of waste management. Until this problem can be addressed and handled, it is like installing a solar panel on a heap of toxic trash-and I do not think this really helps China’s filth problem.

  • Anonymous

    0.008 yuan is $0.0013 in US dollars. One tenth of one penny.

    The typical American uses about 12,000kWh per year. A “massive” surcharge like the one China just implemented would raise utility bills less than $16 a year. Four cents a day.

    We have plenty data on hand that shows us that putting more wind generation on the gird lowers electricity prices.

    Why can’t we be as smart as the Chinese and invest a tiny amount of money in order to save significant money for the rest of our lives?

    • Anonymous

      Our long-term thinking skillz ability to do math seems to have been jeopardized by something.. probably those pesky liberals.

      • Fred

        Blaming liberals? Nice.

        • Bob Wallace

          Adjust your snark filter…

        • Anonymous

          Sarcasm, of course :D

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