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New energy: key to next round of world economic boom
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09:46, September 13, 2009

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As global business leaders and policy makers managed to find new areas of growth in efforts to pull the world out of recession, they picked new energy as the key to the next round of economic boom.

"New energy has been recognized as the engine to boost the next round of world economic growth," Wu Changhua, Climate Group's Greater China director said on the sideline of the 2009 Summer Davos in northeastern China's port city of Dalian, which concluded Saturday.

"There is no doubt on this," Wu said.

"The definition of new energy here covers much broader issues instead of a summary of new energy resources. It includes both energy production and consumption," she said.

Both governments and enterprises were striving to find new technologies and industries which could bail out the world economy from the crisis and developing new energy became an important strategy in an equal effort to fight climate change, according to a report released last month by the Climate Group, a British-based non-governmental environmental organization.

Judging from the world history, a major crisis is always followed by a revolution in science and technology. Major breakthroughs in science and technology would foster areas of growth and bring about a new round of economic boom.

Any country which wins the competition in the technological breakthrough would lead the next round of growth. "The global competition has started and no one wants to be left behind," said Wu.

In the United States, where the financial crisis started, President Barack Obama had highlighted new energy sources in his economic stimulus plan, pledging to raise the number of new energy cars to 1 million by 2015.

The European Union, which claimed to be "the front-runner" in fighting climate change, vowed in March to invest 105 billion euros by 2013 to build a "green economy" within the 27-nation bloc to create jobs, spur economic growth and consolidate its leading position in green technology.

China, as the world's biggest developing nation, has also become a major player in the green industry revolution.

"Like the fundamental changes that information, aerospace and nuclear technologies bringing about to the world after last technological revolution, new energy will influence the future world," Wu said.

Development of new energy was a must for China because of its size and pace of growth, said Professor Du Liangsheng at the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics.

The energy issue had become more pressing for China because of the country's years of fast economic expansion, Du said. "Developing new energy and increasing its proportion in total energy consumption are the answer."

In building up hydropower, nuclear, solar and wind power capacities, China aims at increasing the proportion of new energy in total energy consumption to 10 percent by 2010 and to 15 percent by 2020, with an emphasis on supplying advanced energy technologies to rural China to serve 700 million people in a more environment-friendly fashion.

Although China was recognized as the market with the most potential in new energy sector, many challenges remained, Wu said.

"China's emerging new energy sector is facing a lack of core technology and innovation," she said. "A whole system that supports the sector, including policy, laws and regulations, industry standard and social financing, is also not sound."

The Chinese government should spend more efforts on introducing advanced technology, encouraging innovation and financial input. "The government has spent massively in the sector and should focus more on the management of the investment to ensure that every pennyworth it."


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