China Turns to Renewable Energy in 12th Five-Year Plan

Two weeks ago, China’s Congress officially passed its 12th Five-Year Plan which emphasizes encouraging the development of seven emerging industries to boost economic growth. Clean energy and new-energy vehicles are two of the industries China has pledged its support for. With the country barely missing its 11th Five-Year Plan of a 20 percent energy consumption reduction, China is more aggressively investing in creating a low-carbon economy with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent per unit of GDP by 2020, compared with 2005 emission levels.

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Image Source: Green Energy News

As part of the Five-Year Plan, China aims to increase the use of non-fossil fuels as a percentage of total energy use to 11.4 percent by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020. Currently, carbon-intensive fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas powers about 90 percent of China’s energy. China will turn to other clean energy sources such as wind, solar or hydropower as part of its strategic investment plan.

This investment in alternative energy will in turn impact the transportation sector. With the focus on increased non-fossil fuel use, we anticipate the development of clean vehicle manufacturing to help meet China’s goal of a 17 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per GDP. This will trigger an increased demand for ultracapacitors and alternative energy storage solutions for projects such as clean public transportation, including hybrid buses and light rail projects.

Ultracapacitors already are improving transportation by allowing electric vehicles to recharge within minutes, instead of hours, and harvesting and storing energy from regenerative braking so EVs can go longer without needing a charge-up.

As China works to achieve its plan, it will be interesting to see the results of their investments and their innovations within the clean energy and clean energy cars sectors—particularly how they will use alternative energy sources such as ultracapacitors to help reduce carbon emissions.

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