Wednesday, January 10, 2018

China Leading on World’s Clean Energy Investment, Says Report

China’s State Power Investment Corp operates the São Simão dam in Brazil. (Credit: NASA/ISS) Click to Enlarge.
China is by far the largest force in global clean energy development and its firms are increasingly looking abroad for opportunities, a new report says.

The report, released Tuesday by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), details the rising importance of China’s firms and investors for low-carbon projects outside the country.

While it has been widely reported that China is investing in coal abroad, the new report highlights how the country is also investing abroad heavily in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric cars.

Although China is still investing in some coal projects around the world, it has become clear that renewables will be the dominant energy technology in the coming decades, says report co-author Tim Buckley.  China is setting itself up as a global technology leader and will embrace the direction energy markets are moving, he adds.

IEEFA has identified large Chinese international clean-energy projects and takeovers totaling more than $44bn for 2017, compared to $32bn identified in 2016.

Domestic rise
China is the world’s largest emitter and remains heavily dependent on coal.

However, the country’s plans to shift towards clean energy, led by concerns over the impacts of air pollution and climate change, as well as its keenness to expand in new markets, is also well underway.

In its pledge as part of the Paris Agreement, China said it will aim to source 20% of its energy in 2030 from low-carbon sources.  China accounted for almost half of the solar PV expansion in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).  China also announced its long-awaited Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in December, although this will initially cover only the power sector rather than the eight sectors originally proposed.

The report notes:
“Such is China’s significance in energy markets on the world stage that its shift toward clean generation technology is driving the trend at the global level.”
Leading companies are now increasingly looking for expansion opportunities abroad, according to the report.

Solar reach
Factories in China now account for around 60% of global solar cell production.  This includes companies headquartered elsewhere who base some or all of their manufacturing in China, such as Canadian Solar.

Read much more at China Leading on World’s Clean Energy Investment, Says Report

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