BEIJING Jan 27 China's southern Guangdong
province plans large investments in natural gas and clean energy
to cut coal and oil use in a bid to slow rampant growth in
greenhouse gas emissions, according to a provincial climate
change plan released Monday.
Guangdong, whose GDP is estimated to have surpassed $1
trillion in 2013, plans to cut coal's and oil's share of its
energy mix to 60.6 percent in 2015, from 73 percent in 2010,
according to the plan posted on a government website.
Reducing its dependence on coal and oil will be key to
reaching the province's 2015 target of cutting carbon emissions
per unit of GDP by 19.5 percent from 2010 levels, it said.
Huge investments in cleaner energy sources are needed, the
plan said, because "there is little room left to eliminate
outdated capacity in steel and iron, cement and small coal-fired
plants", previously a favourite fix for Chinese officials
seeking to cut pollution.
Guangdong's greenhouse gas emissions - blamed by scientists
for causing global warming - rose by nearly a third from 2005 to
2010, according to the plan. Its emissions in 2010 stood at 580
million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
To help meet its goal, Guangdong said it would more than
double natural gas' share in the energy mix to 13.2 percent by
2015. Natural gas emits only half as much carbon as coal.
Other fuel sources, which include renewable energy, nuclear
power and electricity imported from provinces in western China,
were expected to rise to a 26 percent share in the mix by 2015,
compared with 19 percent in 2010.
The province plans to increase nuclear capacity by 8,800
megawatts (MW) over the five-year period, wind power by 2,750 MW
and solar by 1,000 MW.
The plan also reiterated the central government's ban on new
coal-fired plants near the Pearl River Delta announced last
year, one of China's most polluted areas, last year.
Guangdong's plan included a 2015 energy consumption cap of
359 million tonnes of standard coal equivalent. That allows for
a 61-percent rise in consumption from 2010, and is the first
time Guangdong has set a numerical target for energy use.
Guangdong last December launched an emissions trading
scheme, the world's second biggest after the European Union, in
a bid to speed up carbon cuts.
(Reporting by Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev; Editing by Tom