A recent report from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), China has made further progress in continuing to build their clean energy infrastructure. The continued investment was much needed to transport locally produced energy and equipment through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Started in 2013, the BRI was designed to create travel routes and power grid connections within China. The total amounts allocated to the BRI in 2017 passed $31 billion.
On top of infrastructure in China, power companies from China have expanded their oversees presence. The largest producer of wind power in the world is now a Chinese company and several hydroelectric power companies have acquired contracts for large-scale utility projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
China has also continued to lead the world in solar cell and battery manufacturing producing 60 percent of the solar cells sold in 2017 and emerging technology created by Chinese companies have led to a development of a battery which is expected to exceed the capacity of batteries produced by Tesla by the year 2020.
Development of clean energy advancements is of the utmost importance particularly when the US government has turned a blind eye to clean energy. As well, China is trying to shift its focus away from the fossil fuel industry. This last august, the country’s largest coal mining company merged with one of the major power utility companies resulting in them forming the China Energy Investment Corp. The company is now the largest power supplier in the world and no longer needs to invest in coal to generate revenue as clean power sources have taken over their market.
China still has a lot of work to do but the signs are very encouraging. Investing in clean energy infrastructure is one of the most challenging obstacles to overcome in trying to convert our energy sources. The cost of production and construction is very high and getting the proper funding will hold a lot of the potential back. China’s push forward to invest will hopefully open up other nations to do the same.
“The clean energy market is growing at a rapid pace and China is setting itself up as a global technology leader while the US government looks the other way,” said report co-author Tim Buckley in a statement. “Although China isn’t necessarily intending to fill the climate leadership void left by the US withdrawal from Paris, it will certainly be very comfortable providing technology leadership and financial capacity so as to dominate fast-growing sectors such as solar energy, electric vehicles, and batteries.”