IEA op­ti­mistic on switch to re­new­ables

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By MENGJING and LYUCHANG

China is very likely to meet the tar­get of hav­ing 15 per­cent of its en­ergy de­mand com­ing from re­new­ables by 2020, said the head of the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency.

Fatih Birol, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Paris-based IEA, said onWed­nes­day that he doesn’t see any rea­son forChina to fail to reach the tar­get as long as the coun­try’s push for re­new­able en­ergy con­tin­ues.

“China has made some ma­jor moves in en­ergy tran­si­tion. It is No 1 in wind en­ergy pro­duc­tion, No 1 in so­lar en­ergy pro­duc­tion and No 1 in hy­dropower en­ergy,” Birol told China Daily in an exclusive in­ter­viewin Bei­jing.

“At the same time, its coal con­sump­tion de­clines. China last year was the cham­pion of the world in terms of re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a pro­jec­tion made on Wed­nes­day by Sun Longde, vice-pres­i­dent of PetroChina Co, China’s en­ergy con­sump­tion is ex­pected to peak in 2035 as its econ­omy re­bal­ances.

Birol didn’t project on which source of en­ergy will play ma­jor role in China’ s en­ergy mix in the long run as he sees the coun­try is di­ver­si­fy­ing its en­ergy mix and mak­ing its en­ergy sys­tem more ef­fi­cient at the same time.

“We will see more re­new­able en­ergy, more nat­u­ral gas, more nu­clear power, and less coal in­China,” he said, adding that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion is cru­cial be­cause the low price of oil and nat­u­ral gas may com­pli­cate the growth of re­new­able en­ergy world­wide.

Birol, who came to Bei­jing to at­tend a cer­e­mony mark­ing the20th an­niver­sary ofChi­naIEA En­gage­ment, an­nounced on Wed­nes­day that the IEA and China’s Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion started the process of the es­tab­lish­ment of a joint en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion cen­ter in Bei­jing.

The IEA-China En­ergy Co­op­er­a­tion Cen­ter will help China ac­cess en­ergy-re­lated ad­vice and share the IEA’s ex­per­tise in en­ergy.

Con­tact the writ­ers at mengjing@chi­ and lvchang@chi­

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