NewEnergyNews: China Seizes New Energy Opening

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    Friday, August 16, 2019

    China Seizes New Energy Opening

    The U.S. left a hole in leadership on climate. China is filling it

    Luiza Ch, Savage, August 15, 2019 (Politico)

    “…China is making greater and faster strides than expected away from fossil fuels — becoming the world’s largest investor in solar and wind technology and boasting more jobs in solar energy than in coal-mining…[as] part of a long-term economic strategy to dominate in critical technologies… China remains the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for roughly 30 percent of global carbon dioxide pollution…But the moves are giving China a growing leadership role on the world stage — precisely at a time when Washington’s voice is becoming less relevant…[China fell behind in the Industrial Revolution, but] saw the potential to lead the clean energy revolution…

    …[Critics have complained that China’s Paris Agreement] pledges would still allow the country to increase emissions for more than a decade…[They] contend that cuts in U.S. emissions promised by the Obama administration would hurt economic growth…[They also argue the U.S.’s second-largest share of world emissions — 15 percent — has dropped not because of policy but because of] power producers switching to cheaper natural gas from coal…[But China is not just fighting climate change. It is advancing its] economic competitiveness…China is responsible for a third of wind turbines and solar panels in the world — and its investments have had the side effect of driving down the global price of solar and wind technologies by nearly three-quarters in the last decade…

    These efforts have allowed China to reduce the share of coal in its overall energy mix from 80 percent to 60 percent…[I]f China continues to fully implement the policies that it already has in place to cut coal consumption — and ramps up its energy efficiency efforts — the nation could cap its coal consumption by as early as next year…China has also pursued electrification at an eye-popping pace. It now has almost half the world's electric vehicles, half the world’s charging infrastructure, and 99 percent of the world's electric buses…Alongside aggressive green investments, China has also retooled its climate diplomacy…China’s climate diplomacy [has marginalized Washington’s role and turned to] working with individual U.S. states…” click here for more

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