China tops clean energy spending
WASHINGTON — China overtook the United States last year as the global leader in clean energy investment as American spending on renewables dropped nearly 40 percent, according to a report to be released on Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
“The center of gravity in the clean energy world has shifted from the United States and Europe to China,” the report concluded.
China's leaders are intensely focused on clean energy. The Chinese have aggressive targets for renewable energy and helped bankroll the rapid growth of the country's solar and wind industries. That resulted in China attracting $65 billion in clean energy investment last year, according to the Pew report, a whopping 30 percent of all renewable investment in the world's top 20 economies.
China is installing solar because the western European market for its solar products is drying up, said Ethan Zindler, head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China is also a major manufacturer of wind turbines and wants to tap its wind resources in Inner Mongolia and elsewhere. China needs energy to fuel its growth and is paying a price for its reliance on coal.
“There is an interest on the part of policy leaders there to address the terrible quality of the air,” Zindler said.
The United States led in global clean energy investment until 2009. America then traded the top spot with China before reclaiming it during the surge in investment that came along with the stimulus legislation and a record boom in wind energy construction. American investment in wind skyrocketed as developers scrambled to finance projects before a tax break was to expire at the end of last year.
Congress is keeping the subsidy alive for another year, but scant new U.S. wind energy production is being planned at this point, Zindler said. Now China is in firm control of the global clean energy investment lead while America “continues to underperform,” according to the Pew report.
Pew argues that lack of a national clean energy policy caused the United States to stumble in the clean energy race.
“In the U.S., there is an uncertain policy, so investment has declined,” Pew clean energy program director Phyllis Cuttino said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FBI blames North Korea for Sony hack
- Computer hackers’ attack on Sony ‘merits an appropriate response,’ White House says
- Car plows into crowd in California, killing 3
- Feds design college ratings system
- All companies now on alert for hackers
- U.S. to open embassy in Cuba soon
- Bondage ‘Master Bob’ Bashara convicted in wife’s slaying in Detroit area
- Federal regulators pen rules for Cuba trade, tourism
- Feds to sue New York City over civil rights of teen inmates in Rikers jail
- Meningitis suspects to be freed from jail while awaiting trial in 64 deaths
- Death penalty sought for white supremacist in Mo. killings