New subsidies to develop China’s solar power industry
BEIJING: Beijing is promising new subsidies to develop China's solar power industry - policies already under fire from the United States as a possible trade violation.
The Finance Ministry announcement late Thursday came amid global talks in Cancun, Mexico, on controlling output of gases blamed for changing the climate. China and the United States are the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters. Beijing has rejected binding limits on emissions but is pressing for development of solar and wind power industries to reduce reliance on imported oil and gas and to profit from growing global clean power demand.
Government plans call for at least 15 percent of China's power to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Beijing will create 13 industry zones and pay up to half the price of equipment in solar power projects, the Finance Ministry said. It said other costs will be covered by a subsidy of 4 to 6 yuan (60 to 90 U.S. cents) per watt of generating capacity.
"China will invest more in construction projects with solar power applications," the ministry said on its website.
Environmentalists have welcomed China's promotion of clean power. But foreign business and labor groups complain Beijing is violating free-trade commitments by giving its manufacturers improper subsidies and hampering access to its large, fast-growing market. -Ap