Beijing, 5 January, 2017 – China’s National Energy Administration’s national energy sector development 13th five year plan firms up the country’s coal consumption cap and puts the country on the path of a steady energy transition. World-leading levels of investment in renewable energy will be maintained, with the country planning to invest RMB 2.5 trillion in the renewables sector over the five year period. The proportion of coal in the energy mix is targeted to fall from 64% in 2015 to 58% by 2020. [1]

“This plan presents the framework to push forward the transition away from coal and towards renewable energy,” said Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaign assistant manager, Yuan Ying.

“To make this a reality, however, China must push for more installation of wind and solar and get serious about tackling the enormous wastage of clean energy, which will also help propel a faster reduction in coal consumption.”In the first three quarters of 2016 China saw an average of 19% curtailment of wind power, reaching as high as 46% in Gansu province. Gansu and Xinjiang provinces saw solar curtailment rates of 39% and 52%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2016. [2]

The plan’s designation of central and eastern provinces as the location for 56% of new solar and 58% of new wind installation will increase efficiency by bringing energy generation closer to the market, and will go some way to tackling the curtailment problem.

The plan sets an annual average growth target of 3.1% for total energy consumption from 2015 to 2020 , a decrease of about 4.5 percentage points compared to the 2001-2015 time period, but faster than any time since 2013. [3] China’s coal consumption has been falling since 2013, with new data showing a 1.6% drop in the first 11 months of 2016.

The energy sector development 13th Five Year Plan puts China on the right course for its energy transition. However, Greenpeace East Asia urges more ambitious expansion of renewable energy and tougher tackling of the curtailment issue which is slowing down a true transition to clean energy.

Notes to Editor:


Media contacts:

Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, email: [email protected] phone: +86 18811344861

Greenpeace International Press Desk, [email protected], phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)