Regarded as a leading figure responsible for China’s economic policy, Premier Wen will deliver the keynote speech at WFES.
Wen has pledged that China will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 17% by 2015 (per unit GDP). Under its 12th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, China aims to generate 11.4% of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2015, and 15% by 2020, up from 8.3% in 2010.
To reach this goal, China has introduced a range of regulatory and financial incentives, including feed-in tariffs, subsidies, China Development Bank loans, and US$200 billion in stimulus funding for cleantech, carbon emission reductions and energy pricing reserves. China is poised to spend US$473.1 billion on clean energy investments in the next five years, and wants to add 370 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2020.
China is also making major investments in grid transmission to overcome capacity constraints and to allow energy rich regions to export power to energy poor regions of China. The five year plan also provides incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and high speed rail.
Lastly, and much like Masdar City – Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, low-waste sustainable city – China will build high-tech, green cities to test nascent clean and renewable energy technologies.
Unfair competitive advantage?
However, the aggressive policies pursued by the Chinese are not without their detractors. In the U.S. a collaboration of companies - led by SolarWorld's U.S. subsidiary - are in the process of trying to have tariffs slapped on solar panels made in China and exported to the U.S.
It is feared that this could have major repercussions, ending up in a full scale trade war between China and the U.S.