China: the world’s leading renewable energy producer

Xinhua: China unleashes clean revolution (1 August 2008)

A report published on Friday hails China as the world’s leading renewable energy producer, overtaking more developed economies in exploiting valuable economic opportunities, creating green-collar jobs and leading development of critical low carbon technologies.

The report was released by the Climate Group, an independent organization that works internationally with government and business leaders to advance climate change solutions and accelerate a low carbon economy.

The report, entitled China’s Clean Revolution, shows that China’s transition to a low carbon economy is well underway, led by supportive government policies which are not only driving innovation in low carbon technologies but also diverting billions of dollars of investment into energy efficiency and renewable energy.

It reveals that the low carbon economy is just as attractive to developing nations like China, as it is to richer countries such as Britain, Japan and Germany, the report says.

China’s combination of cost advantages, a clear policy framework, a dynamic and entrepreneurial business environment and abundant abatement opportunities, is proving that developing nations have as much, if not more, to gain from investment in low carbon solutions to create green-collar jobs, social benefits and economic growth, it says.

Despite its coal-dependent economy, says the report, the Chinese government and businesses have embarked on a clean revolution that has already made it a world leader in the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic technology (Solar PV).

Over the next 12 months, China is also set to become the world’s leading exporter of wind turbines and compete aggressively in other low carbon markets including solar water heaters, energy efficient home appliances and rechargeable batteries.

Steve Howard, CEO of the Climate Group which has its base in Britain, the United States, Australia, China and India, said: “The reality is that China’s government is beginning to unleash a low carbon dragon which will power its future growth, development and energy security objectives.”

Changhua Wu, China director of the Climate Group, said: “Far from ignoring climate change, Chinese leaders have already committed to improving energy efficiency and scaling up the growth of low carbon industries. China is beginning to pull its weight on climate change and the targets and policies in place are in line with those being taken by ‘leading’ countries like the UK and Germany.”

Investment in renewable energy in China is almost level with world leader Germany as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product), says the report.

China also leads the world in terms of installed renewable capacity, added Howard.

Stronger policies from the Chinese government are creating increased demand for low carbon investment and China will require a further 398 billion dollars, or 33 billion dollars per year, to meet its 2020 renewable energy goals.

“China’s current trajectory will ensure it remains a strategic global hub for low carbon investment, innovation and growth over coming decades,” said Howard.

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