The report shows plans of multiple provinces in China to either reduce or massively reduce the use of coal. Beijing stands out with a reduction of 50% over the next couple of years. This is partly motivated by the fact that coal is not only bad news for the climate. It also means massive air pollution.
Collectively, these measures would lead to 1.3 Gt less CO2 emissions in 2020. In comparison, the EU target for 2020 is only 0.451 Gt. Clearly, these measures will have a massive impact.
Such a reduction in coal consumption will need other energy sources. That of course means rapid growth of renewable. As pointed out in the Greenpeace report, solar has gone to over 20 Gw installed capacity in 2013, up from only 8 Gw in 2012 and less than 1 Gw in 2010. That’s exponential growth. Wind is at around 89 Gw in 2013, up from 44 Gw in 2010 and less than 6 Gw in 2007. Again, that’s exponential growth.
This is of course also very good news for any project of generating renewable energy in the Mongolian Gobi desert. The big market in China with a need to replace massive coal use is just next door.