Renewables and Alternative Energy

China’s performance on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index: What are the key takeaways?

Amidst headlines detailing off-the-charts air pollution in Beijing, it may come as a surprise that China’s latest environmental scorecard does boast bright spots. The 2014 Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) – a biennial global ranking of how well countries perform on a range of critical environmental issues – ranks China at 118 out of 178 countries. With respect to other emerging economies with rapid growth and development, China does not fare as well overall as Brazil (77th), Russia (73rd), or South Africa (72th), but is considerably ahead of India, which ranked 155th. However, China is a leader in addressing climate change and is taking corrective action to address weaknesses.

Panel: China’s Clean Energy Challenges

In a panel at the Brookings Institution moderated by ChinaFAQs expert Kenneth Lieberthal, ChinaFAQs experts Sarah Forbes, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Jane Nakano discussed the challenges and prospects for China’s clean energy future. Sarah Forbes discussed China’s natural gas sector, focusing especially on shale gas. Kelly Sims Gallagher discussed China’s coal sector and the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies. Jane Nakano discussed China’s nuclear energy future.

For the full transcript and a recording of the panel see: “China’s Clean Energy Challenges

ChinaFAQs: What Are China's National Climate and Energy Targets?

Key Points:

  • China has a long term target to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020
  • China also has binding targets to reduce energy intensity by 16% from 2010 levels by 2015 and carbon intensity by 17% from 2010 levels by 2015
  • China has a target to reduce coal consumption as a percentage of primary energy to below 65% by 2017
  • China has ambitious targets for renewable energy in 2015 and 2020

China's New Clean Air Action Plan

China has recently announced a plan to tackle air pollution across the country. The plan includes setting regional targets on coal use and taking high-polluting vehicles from the streets. The plan also sets target levels for regional atmospheric pollution, with particular attention paid to reducing particulate matter, which is an especially severe problem in China.

ChinaFAQs — Short Take

Library File: 

Summary of key information on China’s actions on climate and clean energy and the implications for the United States.

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China - An Overview

Key Points

  • Currently, China gets about 8% of its total primary energy from non-fossil sources. Official targets aim to increase that share to at least 11.4 % in 2015 and 15% in 2020.
  • Solar Power: China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of solar cells (PVs). In 2012, China manufactured 30% of all PV cells in the world.

New ChinaFAQs Fact Sheet on Renewable Energy: A Graphical Overview of 2012

China is attempting to dramatically increase the country’s renewable energy supply by 2015. Recently released data shows that China made progress towards reaching this goal in 2012. China continues to make large investments in renewable energy, with over 80% more investment than the U.S. last year. China remains the country with the world’s most installed wind capacity, and it is neck and neck with the U.S. in terms of installed solar PV capacity.

ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy In China: A Graphical Overview of 2012

Key Points:

  • Currently, China gets about 8% of its total primary energy from renewable sources. Official targets aim to increase the share of primary energy from non-fossil sources to at least 11.4% in 2015 and 15% in 2020.1
  • Hydropower: China currently has the largest hydropower capacity in the world, with about 229 gigawatts (GW) currently, and a target of 290 GW for 2015.
  • Wind Power: China ranks 1st in the world in installed wind power capacity, with about 75 GW. China is also the world’s fastest-growing installer of wind, and it aims to have 100 GW of wind installed by 2015.2
  • Solar: China is also attempting to dramatically scale up solar power, planning to have at least 35 GW of installed solar by 2015, and currently has around 7.5 GW installed.
  • Investment: China was the number one invester in renewable energy in 2012, accounting for nearly a quarter of global investment

China Invests Billions in International Renewable Energy Projects

This post originally appeared on WRI Insights.

It’s well-known that China ranks first in the world in attracting clean energy investment, receiving US$ 65.1 billion in 2012. But new analysis from WRI shows another side to this story: China is increasingly becoming a global force in international clean energy investment, too.

Mixed signals on prospects for settlement of China solar trade cases

Trade negotiations between the European Union and China regarding solar panels have hit a bump in the road, as the European trade commissioner complained about Chinese pressure on individual EU nations that he said was designed to prevent Europe from reaching a consensus.