Sunday, February 14, 2010

China draws up plans for national renewable energy center

Happy Year of the Tiger, everyone! 新年快樂,萬事如意!

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Plans are afoot for a "national renewable energy center" in China...

China draws up plans for national renewable energy center from China Daily.

Also, coverage by Reuters and UPI as well.

By Wan Zhihong and Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)
2010-02-10

China plans to build a national renewable energy center to further support development of the industry, an energy official said yesterday. The center will be responsible for policy-making, key project and program management, market and industrial operations, database and information platform establishment and international exchange program coordination, Han Wenke, director general of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday.

The establishment of the center is still in the preliminary planning stages, Han said at the launch of the Sino-Danish Renewable Energy Development Program. The Danish government will invest 100 million Danish krone (130 million yuan) in the program, which is slated to last until 2013.

The combination of Denmark's sector experience and China's strong economic position offer a good starting point for the program. "The project is set to combine the advantages of the two countries and promote renewable energy development fast and well in China," said Danish Minister of Climate Change and Energy Lykke Friis.

Some Danish companies have already made large financial commitments to China. Vestas, a world leader in wind power equipment manufacturing said last year its investment in China would exceed 3 billion yuan by the end of 2009. The company's rapid growth in the country is in line with the strong growth of China's wind energy sector, according to the company.

China made great progress in renewable energy growth last year. It accounted for 7.5 percent of the country's primary energy consumption in 2009 - or the equivalent of 230 million tons of coal, said Liu Qi, vice-director of the National Energy Administration.

"No matter what happens with international climate change negotiations, reducing fossil fuel consumption and developing renewable energy will be the best way to ensure a secure energy supply," said Liu. "The target of reducing carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent in 2020, based on 2005 emissions, will depend more on the development of renewable energy."

China has become the third largest producer of wind power in the world and is responsible for around 40 percent of the output of the world's solar photovoltaics. Photovoltaics or PVs are arrays of cells containing a solar photovoltaic material that converts solar radiation into electricity.

Renewable energy is helping China complete its economic transformation and achieve energy security, said analysts.

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It's unclear from the article what "build" means -- to establish/create, to construct a physical facility for, perhaps both ... As People's Daily notes, the official "made these remarks at the launch of a Sino-Danish Renewable Energy Development Program Tuesday, without providing further detail."

These articles also illustrate two other key features of reporting/media on China.

1) There is a problem with statistics not always agreeing. One must find out what the statistics actually refer to...

Reuters: "Renewable energy consumption accounted for 8.3 percent of the China's total in 2009. The country consumed a total of 3 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent in the year, more than 90 percent of which was derived from traditional fossil fuels, with more than 70 percent from coal."

China wants renewable energy sources to make up 15 percent of total power generation by 2020, up from about 9 percent currently. It also aims to reduce carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon produced per unit of GDP, by between 40 and 45 percent by 2020 compared with 2005.

UPI, pulling directly from China Daily: Renewable energy accounted for 7.5 percent of the country's primary energy consumption in 2009, or the equivalent of 230 million tons of coal, said Liu Qi, vice director of the National Energy Administration, China Daily reports.

"No matter what happens with international climate change negotiations, reducing fossil fuel consumption and developing renewable energy will be the best way to ensure a secure energy supply," said Liu. "The target of reducing carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent in 2020, based on 2005 emissions, will depend more on the development of renewable energy."

2) A lot of the Western wire services depend on China Daily, Xinhua and other English-language Chinese media for their stories. You'll often see articles pop up a day or two later, citing China Daily or Xinhua as its source. The good thing is that the reporting by good wire services like Reuters, AP or Agence France-Presse is clearer, and may even give additional details or explanation -- especially if it's a complex issue where Western audiences may appreciate a little context or background. Still articles can often be here's what China Daily said, written more cleanly, succinctly (and grammatically). This makes sense, as they don't have large news bureaus and a stock of reporters out in the field; they're trying to keep readers abreast of the news in China, and a lot of that (though of course not all of it) is funneled through state media.

In any case, sometimes it helps to "check backward" and see what the original story may have said. Even if it doesn't provide all the details, the way in which things are phrased in state media can be interesting to observe.

URLs:
Tiger graphic http://www.nipic.com/show/3/9/45c55e3d0e5a5217.html
China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-02/10/content_9456628.htm
Reuters http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6190IA20100210
UPI http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Resource-Wars/2010/02/10/China-plans-renewable-energy-center/UPI-19451265834630/
People's Daily http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90862/6892537.html

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