Report suggests China will lead renewables whilst the US market declines
Published: 16 Jan 2018 By Matt Cook
In a recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), China is identified as the dominant force that will continue to lead international investment in renewable technology over the coming years. Whilst China is dominating investment levels in the renewable energy market, the report suggests the US is gradually pulling away from renewables.
Whilst China continues to be the largest contributor to global greenhouse gases and still invests heavily in the coal industry, it has also become the largest investor in the renewables market. The report by the IEEFA suggests China is likely to be the leader in international investment into renewables.
With further advancements and technological progression in renewables and surging interest in battery storage and electric vehicle markets, China is positioning itself to take total control of these markets worldwide.
The IEEFA report highlights a spend of over $44 billion USD by China on international projects and takeovers exceeding $1bn. This is a growth rate of nearly 40% year on year.
Nearly $8bn of solar technology has been exported from China and recently the nation has exceeded the export levels of environmental services in the US and Germany. China is also heavily investing in the wind industry with significant activities led by international businesses like Goldwind and a shift of focus away from hydropower projects.
Whilst China is making a significant investment and plans to expand in the market, the US has not shown the level of support for the market. Whilst the US removed itself from the Paris climate accord, China was quick to reaffirm its commitment towards reducing its emissions.
China has pledged to level its emissions by 2030, with plans to achieve this earlier than 2030. The IEEFA have suggested that whilst China is laying the foundations to make the nation a leader in renewables, the US government, in contrast, is doing the exact opposite. The Chinese industrial market is more than capable of providing the technology experience and financial support required to rapidly expand the solar, battery and electric vehicle markets.
China is also shifting away from its reliance on the coal market which notable changes including the merger of one of the leading coal companies with one of the biggest power businesses. The merger has included an integration with several clean energy assets that will enable the business to continue growing without complete dependence on the coal industry.
The nation also continues to explore other commodity supplies including lithium and nickel which if controlled would allow China to strongly position itself within the manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries.
This year will be interesting to see what investment plans are made by China and equally whether the US decides to turn its attention more towards developing the renewable technology.
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