The nation saw a remarkable investment flow of $9 billion into
the renewable energy sector last year, mostly in wind and solar
segments, according to a report released yesterday by the United
Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
The 46-page analysis says globally, investment in sustainable
energy investment climbed from US$80 billion in 2005 to US$100
billion last year, with unprecedented growth in developing
countries, particularly China, India and Brazil.
China, the world's largest producer of renewable energy, took a
healthy 9 percent of global investment last year, which was helped
by significant asset financing activity in the wind, biomass and
waste sectors, the report says.
Eric Usher, head of Renewable Energy Finance at UNEP, told
China Daily that growth was led by both the Renewable Energy
Law the country promulgated last year and the Clean Development
Mechanism, a carbon credit trading system under the Kyoto
"We also see (in China) a more mature type of investment across
the finance spectrum including public market and venture capitals,"
Usher said in a phone interview.
Chris Greenwood, director of operations in New Energy Finance
who co-authored the report, added that State incentives also played
a key role. He particularly referred to the government's goal of
reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by
20 percent by 2010 from 2005.
The country is expected to continue embracing growth of 30 to 40
percent in sustainable energy investment this year, with more
companies going public and the government's target of enhancing
solar and wind power capacity, Greenwood estimated.
China aims to supply 15 percent of primary energy through
renewable sources by 2020. Installed wind capacity, for example,
almost doubled last year to about 2.3 gigawatts from 2005,
according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
The UNEP report says that while renewable sources today produce
about 2 percent of the world's energy, they now account for about
18 percent of global investment in power generation, with wind
generation at the forefront.
Solar and biofuel energy technologies grew even more quickly
than wind, but from a smaller base, it adds.
It attributes the growth to a combined effect of global concerns
over climate change, increasing energy demands and energy security,
in addition to persistently high oil prices, growing consumer
awareness of energy efficiency and government incentives.
(China Daily June 22, 2007)