China will put in place targeted relending to support clean and efficient use of coal to facilitate green and low-carbon development, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
Given China's coal-dominated energy resources, it is important to act in light of the national reality and work hard to make coal use cleaner and more efficient.
"At present, coal is the energy source that we can truly rely on ourselves for supply. It will remain so for quite a long time to come, and this bears on China's development," Li said. "That said, we need to pursue a transformation in the path of development,… we cannot stay on the path of energy-intensive development."
On top of the financial instruments introduced earlier to support the reduction of carbon emissions, a targeted relending program with a quota of 200 billion yuan ($31.3 billion) will be rolled out to support the clean and efficient use of coal.
The program will provide targeted support for safe, efficient, green and smart coal mining, clean and efficient coal processing, clean and efficient use of coal-fired power, clean industrial combustion and heating, clean residential heating and the comprehensive utilization of coal resources, and promote the development and utilization of coal-bed methane.
National banks will issue loans at their discretion to eligible projects in the supported areas at a rate basically on par with the prime rate of loans with the same maturity.
The People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank, may provide relending support to the banks equivalent to the amount of the loan principal.
"There is huge potential for the clean use of coal. At present, the energy intensity of coal remains relatively high. We must accelerate the commercialization of the mature technologies we have, seek steady upgrades based on practices in our country and continue to deepen international cooperation," Li said.
Measures such as lowering project capital contributions, proper tax incentives, increased funding support from government special bonds and accelerated depreciation will be explored to step up support for projects featuring clean and efficient use of coal.
"Financial, fiscal and tax support can make a big difference. We need to fully consider the combined use of multiple financial, fiscal and tax policies to help lower costs and promote efficiency," Li said.