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China | Green and Alternative Energy Information

Will China make the world green?

Joschka Fischer was never one to mince words when he was Germany’s foreign minister in the late ’90s and early noughts. So it is not overly surprising that he has painted a picture in a new post of a world with only two powers — the United States and China — and an ineffective and divided Europe on the sidelines.

More controversial, however, is his view that China will not only grow into the world’s most important market over the coming years, but will determine what the world produces and consumes — and that that will be green.

Fischer, who was leader of  Germany’s Green Party, reckons that due to its sheer size and needed GDP growth, China will have to pursue a green economy. Without that, he writes in his Project Syndicate post, China will quickly reach limits to growth with disastrous ecological and, as a result, political consequences.

This will have serious consequences on the the way the West lives.

Consider the transition from the traditional automobile to electric transport. Despite European illusions to the contrary, this will be decided in China, not in the West. All that will be decided by the West’s globally dominant automobile industry is whether it will adapt and have a chance to survive or go the way of other old Western industries: to the developing world.

This is not the usual view of China. Many greens have long feared the impact of a huge leap in Chinese growth on the global environment — refrigerators in a billion homes, cars in a billion garages etc.

So instead of killing the planet, is China set to save it?

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Renewable energy investments – US behind China

According to the latest Ernst & Young ranking China has overtook the United States to lead a quarterly index as the most attractive country for renewable energy projects. To some people this may come as a surprise but to those who follow global energy market more thoroughly this shouldn’t be at all surprising.

There are several different reasons why China is currently an ideal destination for renewable energy investments and new renewable energy projects. Unlike United States China has national renewable energy policy, and China is definitely putting serious efforts to achieve its goal of generating 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

China is well aware that this goal can only be achieved by rapidly developing renewable energy market for its own manufacturers. China is world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels, and this is something that will likely last for many years to come.

China not only has enough capital to achieve its renewable energy goal but it also has strong government will, and large enough market to support more investments.

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China to increase renewable energy investment

Solar Feeds reports that China has announced it will invest $3 billion in the development of biofuels over the next ten years.

The plan is part of a wider program to decrease greenhouse gas emission levels. These also entail reforesting the country to a 23% level, up from the current 20%, which will help the country absorb its carbon emissions. Besides offsetting carbon emissions, forests can provide biomass for biodiesel and ethanol.

China draws two thirds of its energy for coal. For that reason the country has been pushing clean technologies and has become the world’s biggest investors in renewable energy and clean tech.

Europe

Meanwhile, a new report released by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, called Statistical Aspects of the Energy Economy in 2009, found that between 2008 and 2009 the use of renewable energy in the European Union increased 8.3 percent.

In total, renewable energy accounts for 18.4 percent of energy production in the European Union, trailing right after natural gas at 19.3 percent.

Energy derived from hard coal and natural gas decreased by 9.2 and 10.1 percent, respectively. Besides, energy consumption in Europe decreased by 5.5 percent. The report notes that the reduction could be related to the global recession.

Via Solar Feeds and NY Times BlogsBookmark

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