China has been forced to take a step back in its path to a more sustainable future. The Asian country has lowered its 2020 targets for generating power from solar and wind sources by 27% and 16%, respectively. The data comes from the National Energy Administration’s (NEA) website: China is now aiming to produce 110 GW from the sun and 210 GW from the wind, down from the 150 GW and 250 GW figures forecasted last year by Zhu Ming, deputy director of renewable energy department at the NEA.
This by no means indicates a lack of investments. In recent years, China has poured billions of dollars toward development of energy produced from renewable sources. The difficulty lies rather in supplying the electricity generated to those parts of the country that need it, resulting in idled energy capacity. The situation has hit China’s major green energy producers hard, like China Longyuan Power Group Corp. and China Datang Corp. Renewable Power Co. According to analysts Ben Kallo and Tayler Frank of Robert W. Baird & Co., "The target reduction, which was largely expected by the solar industry, comes at a time when concerns about oversupply are pressuring solar stocks."
The policy change has received criticism from various environmentalist organizations that consider the new targets too low. "Given the urgency of combating air pollution and climate change, we would expect the government to accelerate investments in clean energy, rather than stabilize or slow down," Greenpeace said.
Nonetheless, despite the lower output goals, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that growth of China’s renewables will continue, with solar output doubling between 2015 and 2020 and wind energy growing by 50% during the same period.