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China to Lead Investments in Renewable Energy by 2020 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A worker lifts a solar panel in the Yingli Solar factory (Image credit: AFP via @daylife)

Khobar, Cairo – China will invest 2.5 trillion Yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, within efforts to shift away from the coal and oil industries.

The country’s National Energy Administration (NEA) said that investments in sustainable energy would create more than 13 million job opportunities in the sector.

The agency issued a blueprint document that details its plan to develop the nation’s energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

Installed renewable power capacity would include wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power and would contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020, according to the document.

Analysts said that China’s investments has reflected its unrelenting efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which have fostered the country’s economic growth over the past decade, especially following the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement last year.

The Paris Agreement falls within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.

In this regard, several countries have set up plans to increase power production from sustainable energy. Saudi Arabia has recently announced a strategy aimed at producing 9.5 Gigawatts of electricity from wind and solar power by the beginning of 2023, within its Vision 2030.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planner, said in its own five-year plan that solar power will receive one trillion Yuan of spending, as the country seeks to boost capacity by five times. That is equivalent to about 1,000 major solar power plants, according to experts’ estimates.

The spending comes as the cost of building large-scale solar plants has dropped by as much as 40% since 2010. China became the world’s top solar generator last year.