China amends renewables law to increase renewable energy use

Beijing, January 12, 2009 — China has amended its renewable energy law, requiring utilities to buy all the power produced by renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power, hyrdopower and others.

The new measures were passed by the standing committee of China’s legislative body as an amendment to the 2006 renewable energy law, state-run media reports indicate.

The amendment forces state-run electric grid companies, responsible for distributing electricity from power plants, to buy electricity generated from renewable sources even when it is more expensive.

Power enterprises that do not comply will face fines based upon the loss of revenue caused to the renewable energy companies, state-run media reported.

China relied on coal for about 70 percent of its total energy last year, with renewable energy sources accounting for about nine percent. China’s goal is for renewable energy to account for 15 percent of its total energy consumption by 2020.

Under the amended law, the Chinese government is required to set aside a fund earmarked for renewable energy research. In addition, the government will finance energy projects in rural and remote areas.

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