China just announced that it has more than doubled its target goal for solar power generation over the next decade in an effort to decrease dependency on nuclear power in light of the recent crisis in Japan. The country has set a target capacity of 50 gigawatts by 2020, and the bold green move is a huge step that should encourage the use of clean energy sources across the country.
China’s increased solar target is a response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, which set off a frightening nuclear crisis and sparked global debate over the safety of nuclear power. The National Development and Reform Commission announced that China is aiming to complete enough solar installations to provide a solar power capacity of 10 gigawatts by 2015 and 50 gigawatts by the end of the decade – currently the country has a capacity of less than one gigawatt.
China is expected to publish a five-year blueprint soon that will outline supportive policies for the solar power industry. The shift to clean power will also bode well for the country’s overall health, as they have registered some of the globe’s worst air and water quality following three decades of unrestrained growth and its resulting pollution. The country is anticipating an investment of several hundred billion dollars, and it hopes that by 2020 it will generate a full 15% of its energy from renewable sources.