China to launch rural pilot scheme for renewable energy

Wind turbines stand on a power station near Yumen
Wind turbines stand on a power station near Yumen, Gansu province, China September 25, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

BEIJING, March 23 (Reuters) - China will launch a pilot scheme to promote the development of renewable energy in rural areas, according to an action plan released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Thursday.

Under the scheme, provincial-level government departments are to identify rural 'pilot counties' for the construction of renewable energy projects and submit development plans to the NEA for evaluation and approval by the end of May this year, according to the statement.

The scheme proposed a target that renewable energy will account for over 30% of total primary energy consumption and over 60% of new capacity primary energy consumption in the pilot counties by 2025.

The scheme also called on local authorities to "deregulate" and improve administration of their renewable energy industries.

The announcement comes amid an ambitious drive to increase the country's renewable energy capacity. China installed 152 gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity last year, representing 76.2% of all new energy capacity.

China has said it aims for renewable power to account for more than 50% of its electricity generation capacity by 2025, with much of this to be installed in sparsely populated, largely rural regions such as Inner Mongolia and Gansu province.

Reporting by Andrew Hayley; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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