Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China 1st, Australia 12th in clean energy [The Age]


This came as a bit of a surprise having lived in Australia for a while now. On the ground, Australians seem more savvy and willing to go green; though it may not have equivalence to being ‘clean’. Australia after all, is one of few countries with a credible political party based sustainability (see – The Greens). The Earth Hour originated here, for example. Ground sentiments are no match for policy, it seems. In any case, this is evidence that China is doing something right; by setting an example given its newfound place as second largest economy and  providing more legitimacy as a blossoming leader in international relations –

‘The study estimated that China — which is fighting severe pollution and its dubious distinction as the top producer of carbon emissions blamed for climate change — now produces nearly half of the world’s wind and solar modules.’

For more on the Pew Charitable Trusts, go here. The report proper can be found here – Global Clean Energy Investment Reached Record $243 Billion in 2010.

– – –

China 1st, Australia 12th in clean energy
Shaun Tandon
AFP
Source – The Age, published March 29, 2011

China leads the world in green energy, Germany has outpaced the US as the number two player, while Italy is fourth and Australia is 12th, a study said.

The survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found strong growth on a global scale for solar, wind and other renewable energy, although one major exception was Britain, which saw a sharp decline after a new government took charge.

“What we believe it all comes down to, frankly, is policy,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program.

“Germany and China have ambitious renewable energy standards and, certainly in the case of Germany, they also have a feed-in tariff that’s really helped them,” she said on Tuesday, referring to incentive payments to produce green power.

The survey also reported a more than doubling of investment in clean energy both in Italy, which came in fourth overall, and Australia, which ranked 12th.

China, which a year earlier topped the United States as the green leader, saw no stop to its growth.

Clean energy investment reached $US54.4 billion in 2010, up 39 per cent from the previous year, the Pew report said.

The study estimated that China — which is fighting severe pollution and its dubious distinction as the top producer of carbon emissions blamed for climate change — now produces nearly half of the world’s wind and solar modules.

Germany’s clean energy investment doubled to $US41.2 billion, bringing the country to second place, the study said. Germany ramped up both solar and wind power — especially small solar projects that added up when viewed together.

Despite slipping to third, the United States still enjoyed 51 per cent growth in clean energy investment, the study said.

The US plays a leading role in innovation and capital for green energy, but lags behind in manufacturing, the study said.

But Britain witnessed a 70 per cent decline in clean energy investment, slipping out of the top 10, as businesses hesitated at offshore wind projects after Prime Minister David Cameron took over with a mission to trim spending.

“Certainly the coalition government has given investors a signal that things are uncertain and that’s the way investors reacted,” Cuttino said.

Indonesia and South Korea also saw declines in clean energy investment, although the study’s authors said it was possible the nations would rebound due to their policy directions.

In Japan, whose clean energy industry consists almost exclusively of solar, investment rose a modest 10 per cent but Cuttino predicted future growth as the world’s third largest economy has set ambitious goals over the next decade.

The research was conducted before Japan’s devastating March 11 earthquake, which set off a crisis at a nuclear plant that has brought new scrutiny worldwide to atomic energy.

The US experienced growth in clean energy even though efforts led by President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party to mandate cuts in carbon emissions died last year in Congress.

© 2011 AFP

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Filed under: AFP, Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Influence, International Relations, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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