Among the fastest-growing economies in the world, China and India have lifted millions of people out of poverty—but, in the process, they have also generated enormous amounts of pollution from using fossil fuels. Fortunately, both nations have committed to tackling climate change and transitioning to more sustainable development.
NRDC works with partners in these two countries to dramatically expand wind and solar power. In China, we have provided recommendations for improving the implementation of the nation's Renewable Energy Law, which include establishing quotas for how much renewable power grid companies must purchase and formulating a dispatch policy that prioritizes renewable energy.
We are also promoting policies that help utilities manage the wind and solar power coming onto the grid. If the wind blows at a time of low demand, the grid can’t accept that energy because there is nowhere for it to be stored. Demand-side management—such as the Shanghai demand-response pilot we are assisting with—can help fix this by encouraging utilities to use price signals and other techniques to influence when periods of high and low demand will occur; this way people can draw power for activities such as charging electric cars when renewable energy is available.
NRDC is also collaborating with leading Chinese government think tanks, research institutes, and industry associations to help design a road map for how the country can cap coal consumption and speed the transition to renewable energy. In addition to reducing climate pollution, this cap also helps expand the market for renewable power. By 2014, China was leading the world in wind and solar power installation, and renewable energy is starting to displace coal even in some of the nation’s most polluted provinces.
In India, we partner with research institutions, leaders in the private sector, and government ministries to help the nation power its growth with low-carbon energy. We provide research and analysis to support India's goals to advance and scale up the solar market to meet its goal of 100 gigawatts of solar-generating capacity by 2022 and improving clean energy access. We have advised on innovative financing solutions, supportive policies, and other strategies for meeting this target. And together with the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, NRDC authored the first independent analysis of job opportunities in India’s solar and energy markets, projecting that as many as one million jobs could be created if the country reaches its 100-gigawatt solar target.
NRDC also works with local partners to help expand renewable power in key nations in Latin America through in-depth analysis and policy recommendations. Our experts help demonstrate that Chile’s wind and solar resources can deliver more economic and social benefits than conventional energy projects such as dirty coal and destructive large hydroelectric dams. And our advocates help ensure that Chile is on track to achieving a sustainable energy future and meeting its renewable energy potential. Mexico also has abundant renewable energy potential that is still untapped, and NRDC offers analysis and policy recommendations for how the country can pass and implement renewable energy incentives that will help it meet its commitment of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020.