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  • Leading Chinese companies encouraged to set 100% renewable energy goals with RE100

    BEIJING: Today RE100 launches a capacity building program in Beijing, led by The Climate Group in partnership with the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) designed to encourage Chinese companies to develop strategies for reaching 100% renewable power, the roll out of RE100 in China gives influential businesses from a range of sectors an immediate opportunity to respond to the INDC China released on June 30, as well as demonstrate climate leadership as part of an international initiative.

    The Chinese government is increasingly looking to corporates to help meet the country’s renewable energy goals through the rollout of stronger feed-in-tariffs, which in turn bring economic opportunities to the companies. Rooftop solar projects can now offer the industrial and commercial sectors an average payback period of seven to nine years and an 8% rate of return.

    Changhua Wu, Greater China Director of The Climate Group said: “Companies participating in RE100’s capacity building activities will be able to develop a deeper understanding of how renewable power investments can provide energy security, help manage electricity costs and improve reputation – while delivering on China’s climate ambition.”

    Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group.

    CAPACITY BUILDING

    Through a series of expert led workshops, field trips and peer-to-peer learning, the RE100 capacity building program aims to raise the technical awareness and understanding of companies so they can further their journeys to use 100% renewable power.

    Household appliance manufacturer ROBAM and wind turbine developer Goldwind are among the first Chinese companies to join the RE100 platform in China. They join RE100 corporate partners such as RE100 Founding Partner IKEA and Mars Incorporated, to share current best practices in utilizing, developing and investing in renewable power sources – as well as better understanding additional renewable options that may become available due to China's forthcoming electricity reforms. 

    Speaking to businesses and policymakers at the launch event at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing today, companies shared how they are currently utilizing onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) and are also eager to see the development of China's green tariff market so they can directly buy renewable power from the grid in the near future.

    Photo of the RE100 Capacity Building Program launch event at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing

    Hou Yuhan, Assistant to Chairman and Marketing Director, Xinjiang GoldWind Science & Technology Co., said: “As a leading company in the wind industry, Goldwind has deep experience in renewable energy development to share with the RE100 platform in China. To date, Goldwind has built two smart micro-grid projects in Beijing and Jiangsu that provide green power for our company as well as to the grid. We would like to participate in RE100’s China capacity building activities to support an efficient utilization of renewable energy and to extend its benefits for all sectors.”

    He Yadong, Vice President at Robam told the audience that the leading manufacturer and supplier is keen to play a role in reducing China’s air pollution and climate change impact by greening the manufacturing process of their kitchen appliances. He added: “We are therefore excited to join RE100’s activities in China to see how we can adopt more renewable power solutions in the future.”

    Sarah Su, Managing Director for IKEA  (China) Investment Co., Ltd said: "To help meet our commitment to go 100% renewable by 2020, IKEA has already installed 7.8 MW of solar PV at 12 of IKEA China retail stores and IKEA factory. However solar cannot meet all of our electricity needs, thus we are interested in joining the RE100 platform in China to help speed up and maximize investment in renewable options."

     

    CLEAN GROWTH IN CHINA

    According to its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), China will cut its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% from its 2005 level by 2030, aiming to increase non-fossil fuel sources in primary energy consumption to about 20% by the same date. China will also “work hard” to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030, Prime Minister Li Keqiang said this week.

    China is already the world’s leading investor in renewables. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) data shows that in 2014, China increased its investment to US$89.5 billion, up 32% from the previous year. This was nearly 73% more than the US, the next largest investor. In the same year, China also led the world in new wind and solar installations, with 19.81 gigawatts and 10.60 GW respectively. China also increased its installed solar PV capacity by 29% increase in 2014.

    Speaking about RE100, Li Junfeng, Director of National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation and President of Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, added: “In recent years, China’s Feed-in Tariff and other supportive policies have created a favorable policy environment for renewable energy development in China and the country’s transition to a low carbon economy. By 2020, China plans to reach 100 GW of installed solar PV and 200 GW of installed wind capacity. The Chinese government is now increasingly looking to corporates to help meet these ambitious targets. By working with the world’s most influential companies, RE100 is able to showcase the benefits of renewable energy power utilization and thereby help advance its large-scale development in China and globally.”

    The Climate Group and CREIA’s RE100 report on China earlier this year found that both companies and industrial enterprises are the ideal adopters of solar power after the introduction of the Feed in Tariff in China in 2013.

    The report outlines how in March 2015, China’s State Council issued an electricity market reform plan, which should propel the country to further optimize its energy mix and improve the share of renewables in electricity generation. The reforms may also enable private and foreign entities to enter the sales and distribution business, which is currently dominated by Southern Power Grid Company and the State Grid Corporation of China.

    Increasing policy support for solar power means that there has never been a better time for businesses to invest in renewable in China.

    20 companies from around the world have now joined RE100 and made a public commitment to going 100% renewable, including: BT Group, Commerzbank, Elion Resources Group, FIA Formula E, IKEA, Infosys, H&M, KPN, Marks & Spencer, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Sara Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re, Unilever and YOOX Group.

    Green desert developer Elion Resources Group was the first Chinese company to join RE100, setting itself a target for going 100% renewable by 2030.

    By Virginia Bagnoli