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Country 'set to remain' global clean energy hub

By  Lan Lan  (China Daily)

09:36, April 13, 2012

China invested $45.5 billion in clean energy in 2011, causing the country to cede its top ranking in such expenditures to the United States for the first time since 2009.

Even so, China's ambitious goals will continue to make it a clean-energy hub for the world, The Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington-based research group, said on Thursday.

In 2011, $48.1 billion went into clean energy in the US, a 44 percent increase from 2010, making it the country where the most money was put toward that purpose in 2011. In third place was Germany, where $30.6 billion was invested in clean energy.

"China's overall economic growth rate slowed in 2011, so it is not surprising that investment growth in the clean energy sector also slowed," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's clean energy program.

But because of the falling prices of solar and wind-energy technologies, the same amount of investment was able to support the use of even more renewable power in 2011, he said.

Despite China's decline in the rankings, the country remains a global hub for clean energy, particularly in its support and use of wind energy and in wind-energy and solar manufacturing. China has the capacity to generate 133 gigawatts of clean energy, accounting for 26 percent of the world total.

China's long-term plans provide a predictable future for the country as it pursues its goal to meet "the world's most ambitious clean energy targets", he said. The country intends to install 160 gW of wind power and 50 gW of solar power by 2020, he said.

China now has the capacity to produce more than 64 gW of wind energy. He pointed out, though, that about a quarter or more of that capacity may not be operational or connected to the electrical grid.

In 2011, the country's investments in solar energy increased to $11.3 billion and 2.3 gW of capacity was installed.

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