India and China go full speed against climate change
While the United States are wondering what will happen next on climate change mitigation in their country, both India and China have recently unvealed very ambitious targets to fight local air pollution and global climate change.
According to an article from the Guardian, India “ plans nearly 60% of electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2027. ” This makes the Indian government believe that it will exceed its Paris Agreements targets by far, with :
” A draft 10-year energy blueprint published this week predicts that 57% of India’s total electricity capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027. The Paris climate accord target was 40% by 2030. “
The Guardian goes on and list how India could become a renewable energy super power in the next decade or so, as investments in the area are booming. This is a bright prospect that is fully aligned with what I have been reporting for the past couple of years from the subcontinent.
From bringing electricity to 400 million people with solar to going LED or investing massively in renewables, India has been showing strong leadership in this most important issue for a few years now. To the point that, according to a newspaper, (r)enewable energy investments in India to reach $250 billion over next five years, and over a trillion by 2030. Those are HUGE amounts of money.
In neighbouring China, the government has announced a plan that it will spend $360 billion on clean energy sources by 2020. This will result in the creation of 13 million jobs and cut significantly the amount of air pollution in Beijing and other Chinese cities.
Meanwhile, Beijing has announced that it will be closing or not building another 104 coal-fired plants that were either due to be constructed soon or were being constructed. This move is significant – 120 Gigawatts of capacity – as it is equal to a third of the amounts of coal-fired plants in the United States.
China installed over 34 Gigawatts of solar PV capacity in 2016 alone as Cleantechnica reported, with over 11 GW in one month alone. This is absolutely staggering as it brings the total solar PV capacity of the country to 77 GW. Yes, capacity almost doubled in one year.
All this can be explained by the fact that renewables are getting more and more competitive every day and that smart countries invest in cost effective and low carbon solutions. In early 1996, the global solar PV capacity was of 200 MW, now the world installs that capacity every single day… Let that sink in. And it probably will not stop anytime soon as to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar is now becoming even cheaper than wind.
Promoting or helping old energy sources such as coal, oil or natural gas is not only morally wrong in an era of climate change and massive air pollution but it is also a bad idea from a financial perspective. I am glad India, China and some other countries understand that and wish the United States and the European Union remembered this as well.