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The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) report lays out a road map for China to meet its recently-announced target of capping emissions by 2030.

“As the largest energy consumer in the world, China must play a pivotal role in the global transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of Irena.

“China’s energy use is expected to increase 60% by 2030. How China meets that need will determine whether or not the world can curb climate change.”

Beyond business-as-usual

However, with current policies in place, the share of renewables in China’s energy mix will only rise to 17% by 2030. Irena suggest an annual investment of $145bn is needed – a $54bn boost beyond business-as-usual.

The higher renewable share will result in an annual saving of up to $228bn by 2030 when accounting for factors like human health and reduced emissions.

“China can continue its leadership in renewable energy by accelerating action in this area,” said Mr. Amin. “If China acts now to implement more renewable energy, it can reduce air pollution, enhance energy security, benefit its economy, and play a leading role in fighting climate change.”

Net exporter

China installed more renewable energy capacity in 2013 than Europe and the remaining Asia Pacific region combined. It is also a major exporter of renewable energy technology, accounts for two-thirds of global solar panel production, 90% of installed biogas systems, 40% of newly installed wind capacity in 2013, and provides 2.6 million jobs in its renewable energy sector.

The China report part of Irena’s REMap 2030 campaign, which details how to scale-up renewable energy output around the world.

Video: REMap 2030

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