China Announces $361B Investment in Green Energy by 2020

The world’s largest energy market ramps up its war on pollution.

By Anca Gagiuc

Beijing from the air as smog blankets the city

Beijing—China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) announced its plans to invest $361 billion in renewable power generation by 2020 as part of a broader effort to shift the nation away from fossil fuels.

In a blueprint document, the NEA laid out its plan to develop the nation’s energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period and estimated that the investment will create more than 13 million jobs in the sector. However, they did not disclose more details on where the funds, equating to about $72 billion per year, would be spent. The NEA stated that installed renewable power capacity will contribute to roughly half of new electricity generation by 2020.

As reported by Reuters, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that approximately $102 billion will go toward wind farms, $73 billion to hydro power and the remaining will finance tidal and geothermal energy.

Concerns about the economic and social costs of China’s air pollution have increased as Beijing and the northern parts of the country are notoriously some of the most polluted areas in the world. Yet, the country is making good progress. China became the world’s top solar generator last year, leading to an 80 percent drop in global prices. In 2015, it invested an approximate $103 billion in renewable energy, which amounts to 36 percent of the world’s total spending according to annual global estimates.

Image courtesy of @jimsciutto/Twitter