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Chinese Renewable Energy Law
Jamais Cascio, 3 Mar 05

PhysOrg passes along a report that the Chinese legislature just passed a Renewable Energy Law to "ease the energy strain, secure the country's energy security and better protect ecological environment." Beijing will push for 10% renewable energy by 2020; the new law requires that all state power grids purchase electricity from renewable sources. "Renewable" is defined as including hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal and "marine" energy (presumably tidal & wave).

My take: this is largely window-dressing. 10% by 2020 is a remarkably unambitious goal, and may be met largely by expanded hydroelectric megaprojects. There's no sign that China is set to take advantage of its position to force real advances. Businesses around the world are hungry to get into the Chinese market. Imagine the result if China passed a requirement that all passenger vehicles sold by (say) 2010 used hybrid-electric technology, or that all new buildings (such as the towers going up across the south China coastal cities) meet LEED-style efficiency rules. China could and should do much more than this one new law.

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