China's renewable energy policy: Commitments and challenges
The passing of the Renewable Energy Law (REL) in 2005 demonstrated China's commitment to renewable energy development. In the 3 years after the REL, China's renewable electricity capacity grew rapidly. From 2006 to 2008, China's wind capacity installation more than doubled every year for 3 years in a row. However, three facts prevent us from being optimistic about China's renewable electricity future. First, considered as a share of total capacity, renewable electricity capacity is decreasing instead of increasing. This is due simply to the rapid growth of fossil fuel capacity. Second, a significant amount of renewable generation capacity is wasted because it is not connected to the electricity grid. Finally, renewable electricity plants are running at a low level of efficiency. Based on an in-depth analysis of China's existing renewable energy policy, we suggest that these challenges should be dealt with by introducing a market-based mandatory renewable portfolio requirement coupled with strong regulatory monitoring of grid enterprises.
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