China: Yet Another Strong Renewable Energy Push

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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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Zachary Shahan

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