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China’s Energy Transition Plan: China to invest $367 billion by 2020

Posted: May 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

China is the most-polluting nation on Earth but at the same time it is also the biggest producer of clean energy. Several years ago, China took on a new challenge and decided to gradually reduce its use of coal in favor of cleaner energy, such as hydroelectric, nuclear, solar and wind. Although, the most significant decision was taken at the beginning of last year, when China’s green energy investment plan was announced: a $367 billion investment in renewable resources. This plan should enable China to reach its ambitious goal of producing 20% of its energy needs solely from renewable sources by 2030.

China’s multi-billion green energy plan 

Aside its admirable new goal, China still remains a country of many paradoxes: for example, 1.1 million people continue to die each year from pollution-related causes. The McKinsey Global Institute has calculated that China is the world’s largest producer of solar energy and that in 2016 alone, it doubled its production of solar energy. In 2015, China installed more wind capacity than United States, India and Germany combined.

The government in Beijing is pushing hard for an economic and cultural shift and in turn the labor market is also seeing a significant impact. In China 2.5 million people are employed in the solar sector and, according to China’s National Energy Administration, the new multi-billion investment plan will create 10 million new jobs.

China’s energy plan not only aims to reduce global pollution, it is also a strategic political move. With this plan the Chinese government will gain a position of leadership in one of the biggest businesses of the future. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, China is already a major producer and exporter of renewable energy and produces two thirds of the world’s solar panels and almost half of the world’s wind turbines.

China’s leadership hydroelectric power production

A significant sign of China’s energy transformation is its growth in hydroelectric power: in fact, China is currently the world’s largest hydroelectric power producer. In 2016, the country increased its installed capacity from 11.74 to 330 GW: more than a quarter of the world’s total. According to China’s Ministry of Water Resources in its “Guidelines on promoting the development of small hydropower industry”, small hydroelectric power plants will be of great importance from here to 2030, since they have less impact  on the environment and easily comply with international best practices.

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