|Title||China's renewables surge outweighed by growth in coal consume|
|Description||China tripled its solar energy generating capacity last year and notched up major increases in wind and hydropower, government figures showed this week, but officials are still struggling to cap the growth in coal burning, which is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. The latest evidence of Chinas promotion of renewable energy has been welcomed by climate activists, but they warn that the benefits are being wiped out by the surge in coal consumption. After burning an extra 95m tons last year, China will soon account for half the coal burned on the planet. This has alarmed state planners concerned about the gold ore crusher of air pollution and climate change, but their efforts to cap the nation’s energy consumption are said to have run into resistance from local governments who fear restrictions on economic growth. At a key policymaking meeting in Beijing this week, Liu Tienan C the director of the National Energy Administration C called for energy use to be kept below 4.1bn tons of coal equivalent per year by 2015. If the proposal is accepted, this would be the first time China has set such a ceiling. Until now, Beijing has only set goals for energy and carbon intensity, which are relative to economic growth and so fluctuate according to GDP figures. But the proposed figure remains the subject of fierce discussion as it was based on an assumption that Chinas economy will grow at 7.5% per annum up until 2015, by which time the government is supposed to bring down energy intensity (units of energy per unit of GDP) by 16%. However, provincial governments are projecting a combined economic growth rate of more than 9%, which means they will face a fuel shortfall unless the energy target are raised or they fail to reach their goals. The negotiations are held behind closed doors and are likely to last several more months, but it is believed that the provinces are arguing for a higher target of between 4.25 and 5 ban tons.|
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