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China is World’s Largest Investor in Clean Energy for Fourth Year

China invested a record US$111 billion in clean energy infrastructure construction in 2015, up 17% year on year, accounting for 33.6% of total global investment in clean energy and close to that of the US and Europe put together.

Last year, European investment in clean energy hit a record low from 2006 while American investment increased 7.5%, to US$56 billion.

Since 2012, China has been the top-ranking superpower in clean energy global investment for four years in a row. The largest sum of its clean energy investment in 2015 was in photovoltaic power generation, at US$ 51 billion, followed by investment in wind power, at US$47.7 billion. The two sectors accounted for 89% of the country’s overall clean energy investment.

China released the Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in 2013. The plan puts forward increased use of natural gas and non-fossil energy generation in Beijing, Tianjin and Hubei regions and closing of surplus steel, cement and other heavy industry production capacity to achieve a negative growth of coal consumption by 2017. According to the target set by the National Development and Reform Commission, Beijing is required to reduce 13 million tons of coal consumption on the basis of 2012, Hebei to reduce 40 million tons and Shandong to reduce 20 million tons by 2017.

China pledged it would raise the share of non-fossil fuel in energy sources to 20% by 2030. This objective requires an additional 800 to 1,000 gigawatts of wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity, equivalent to America's current total electricity generating capacity.

China has overtaken Japan and the US to become the world's largest consumer of solar photovoltaic modules in 2014. Over the past few years, China's annual PV installations have been growing rapidly, from 500 megawatts in 2010, to 10.6 gigawatts in 2014, then 18.43 gigawatts in 2015.

Over the past five years, 40% of the world's new clean energy facilities settled in China. Chinese coal consumption in 2014 remained essentially the same as in 2013 and is expected to drop by about 5%  in 2015.

For the content of the Action Plan in Chinese, please see:


Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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