One year ago, the Chinese government’s energy agency made a long-term commitment to the development of renewable energy sources, investing more than $360 billion in an effort to shift away from coal-powered energy. Now, the country is following through on those promises, paving the way to becoming the global leader in the overall development of clean energy technology.
According to a new report from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), China has continued to grow its clean energy sector in 2017, installing over 50 GW of solar-powered generation.
“The clean energy market is growing at a rapid pace and China is setting itself up as a global technology leader while the U.S. government looks the other way,” said Tim Buckley, co-author of the report. “Although China isn’t necessarily intending to fill the climate leadership void left by the U.S. withdrawal from Paris, it will certainly be very comfortable providing technology leadership and financial capacity so as to dominate fast-growing sectors such as solar energy, electric vehicles, and batteries.”
This from IEEFA:
The new report analyzes China’s further progress in clean energy sectors during 2017, including advancements led by the nation’s large and influential state-owned utility, engineering and finance companies. Growing Chinese dominance is led by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that is driving outbound infrastructure investment along ancient trading routes. 2017 saw the significance of the BRI further enhanced. Despite encountering some headwinds in 2017, it remains a central feature of China’s foreign and economic policy.
“It has become clear that renewables will be the dominant energy technology of the following decades with even the cautious International Energy Agency (IEA) accepting that renewables will receive the majority of energy investment going forward,” Buckley said. “China is not going to buck this trend; although it is still investing in some coal projects around the world, China will embrace the direction energy markets are moving in and is setting itself up as a global technology leader.”