The National Development and Reform Commission, the planner of China's macro-economy, released China's Renewable Energy Medium and Long-Term Development Plan (the development plan) on 31 August 2007.

The development plan sets out targets for the development of renewable energy up to 2020. The aim is that renewable energy will account for 10 per cent of the total energy consumption by 2010, and 15 per cent by 2020. Main areas to be developed according to the development plan are hydropower, biomass power, wind power and solar power.

To safeguard the implementation of these plans state power-grid enterprises and petrol distributors are requested to undertake the responsibility to purchase power and biofuel as required by the Renewable Energy Law. Additional costs for purchasing renewable energy power that are higher than conventionally produced electricity will be shared nationwide.

In addition to these measures, fiscal support and preferential tax treatment should be made available both by central government and local governments. Furthermore, research and development activities in the renewable energy sector are encouraged by the development plan.

A total investment equivalent to some RMB2,000 billion (USD267 billion) is anticipated to be required to fulfil these plans by 2020. This has caused the Chinese media to comment that finally 'the development of renewable energy is entering the spring of the development cycle'.

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