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China leading on world’s clean energy investment

Friday, January 12th, 2018


The report, released on January 9 by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), details the rising importance of China’s firms and investors for low-carbon projects outside the country.

While it has been widely reported that China is investing in coal abroad, the new report highlights how the country is also investing abroad heavily in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric cars.


Although China is still investing in some coal projects around the world, it has become clear that re-newables will be the dominant energy technology in the coming decades, says report co-author Tim Buckley. China is setting itself up as a global technology leader and will embrace the direction energy markets are moving, he adds.

IEEFA has identified large Chinese international clean-energy projects and takeovers totalling more than $44bn for 2017, compared to $32bn identified in 2016.

China is the world’s largest emitter and remains heavily dependent on coal.

However, the country’s plans to shift towards clean energy, led by concerns over the impacts of air pollution and climate change, as well as its keeness to expand in new markets, is also well underway.

In its pledge as part of the Paris Agreement, China said it will aim to source 20 per cent of its energy in 2030 from low-carbon sources. China accounted for almost half of the solar PV expansion in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). China also announced its long-awaited Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in December, although this will initially cover only the power sector rather than the eight sectors originally proposed.


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