By 2025, China wants half its total generated power to come from renewable energy [File: Carlos Barria/Reuters] One of the most pressing challenges for China to meet its pledge to cap carbon emissions this decade and pivot toward renewables is overhauling its electricity grid, the world’s largest, officials and analysts say. Beijing’s surprise announcement last year that it would hit peak emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060 could presage the biggest reduction in projected global warming of any climate commitment to date, researchers say. But building new solar plants and wind farms is the easy part, analysts say. Upgrading the system that transmits that green power to faraway consumers could be five times more costly, and depends on rapid technological progress. “When we talk about the challenges, most people focus on the (electricity) grid,” said Chunping Xie, an expert on China’s policies on climate change and energy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “It’s the first step in this long journey.” Investments in China’s grid and other associated costs are expected to exceed 6 trillion yuan ($896bn) over the next five years, Mao Weiming, former chairman of State Grid, said in a speech […]

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