China pioneers in renewable energy

16:05, September 09, 2008

The facts cited as follows will evidently confirm the report released last month by the Climate Group that China is the world's leading producer of energy from renewable sources and is on the way to overtaking developed countries in creating clean technologies.

In 2007, China led the world in terms of installed renewable capacity at 152 gigawatts.

In 2007, investment in renewable energy in China amounted to $10.8 billion, up 91 percent over the year before, excluding the investment in its giant hydro power projects.

In 2007, China's investment in renewable energy projects totaled $ 12 billion, almost level with world leader Germany as a percentage of GDP.

In 2009, China is expected to lead the world in its total investment in renewable energy.

Li Junfeng, vice director of Energy Studies Institute affiliated to State Development and Reform Commission, was quoted recently as saying that in terms of the overall scale of renewable energy development, China has already led the way. Calculated in a more calibrated way, he said, China's total installed renewable capacity has taken the lead in the world, in which installed capacity of mini-sized hydro power projects takes up a half of the world's total.

Additionally, despite its coal-dependent economy, China has become a world leader in the manufacture of solar photovoltaic technology, with its six biggest solar companies having a combined value of over $ 15 billion. Around 820 megawatts of solar PV were produced in China in 2007, second only to Japan. In the next year, China will also become the world' leading exporter of wind turbines and it is also highly competitive in solar water heaters, energy efficient home appliances, and rechargeable batteries.

It is manifest to all that supportive government policies investing billions of dollars in energy efficiency and renewables are driving huge levels of innovation in China, and the preparatory work for hosing a ‘Green Olympics' has provided the governments at different levels with a golden momentum to develop and expand the renewable energy industries, and accordingly the concept of ‘Green Olympics' has also greatly enhanced the nationwide awareness of energy preservation and emission reduction, which acts as a strong impetus to resort to energies form renewable sources.

Currently, energy crisis featuring the severe shortage of fossil fuels and inflated prices has endangered the entire world. The development of renewable energy is placed at the top of agendas for almost all the governments when outlining their future energy strategies, to which China is no exception.

‘The development of renewable energy in China is still facing the limitations in technological input and research abilities, as is often seen in the development of other industries. Therefore, international cooperation plays an important role in China's technological development, as regards developing renewable energy' observed Mr. Li Junfeng.

While China is a pioneer leading the way in renewable energy projects, the relevant authorities remain considerably prudent, ‘we are not supposed to be unduely optimistic, despite the positive news,' they claimed. Mr.Li also echoed this saying, ‘many of our core technologies applied to the development of renewable energy come from foreign countries, and thereby the development level is still subject to others. Besides, the costs are still high. China's relevant authorities and manufacturers will have to further shore up their input in research and development of renewables.'

On this basis, China is expected to be not only the biggest manufacturer of renewable energy, but also a real giant in researching, developing and consuming energy from renewable sources in the foreseeable future.

By People's Daily Online

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