China cranks up 2015 solar target

Just days after committing itself to delivering a new international climate change treaty by 2015, China has significantly increased its renewable energy target for solar power capacity, according to state media reports.

Citing a statement from the National Energy Administration, China National Radio said that the 2015 target for solar energy capacity has been increased by 50 per cent to 15GW.
It also confirmed the existing target to deliver100GW of wind power capacity by 2015 will remain the same, and revealed that 5GW of this capacity will be provided by a new generation of offshore wind farms.
The change in the solar energy goal is the second increase this year, after the government announced in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that it would double the target to 10GW.

The more ambitious target follows a surge in solar installations in recent months driven by the Chinese government's decision in the summer to introduce a national feed-in tariff incentive scheme and guarantee higher payments for projects finished by the end of this year.

China National Radio reported that annual solar power output will hit 20 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2015 and wind power output will reach 190 billion kWh, assuming the targets are met.

The new target will further strengthen the Chinese government's claims that it is taking ambitious steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.