China set to dominate global renewable energy boom

China is expected to expand its dominance of the booming global renewable and clean-energy industries as new American energy policies come into play, according to a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

“The change in leadership in the US is likely to widen China’s global leadership in industries of the future, building China’s dominance in these sectors in terms of technology, investment, manufacturing and employment,” the report, China’s Global Renewable Energy Expansion: How the World’s Second-Biggest Economy Is Positioned to Lead the World in Clean-Power Investment, said.

Tim Buckley, lead author of the report and IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies, said the US will very likely become less competitive economically if the Trump administration is able to deliver on its intentions to slow a global energy transition that is gaining momentum.

The report details how China made a record $32 billion in overseas investment deals in 2016 alone, marking a 60 per cent year-on-year rise in spending.

The report puts Chinese global investment in clean energy annually at more than $100 billion, more than twice what the U.S. is investing.

“China understands that renewables present a huge business opportunity,” Mr Buckley said.

“Building on the staggering scale of its domestic growth in low-emissions energy, China is accelerating its commercial expansion overseas.”

China is the world’s largest investor in clean energy with US$102.9bn invested in renewables (excluding large hydro) in 2015, up 17 per cent over 2014.

Five of the world’s six largest solar module manufacturing firms are in China.

“On the wind front, Goldwind, a Chinese company, overtook Vestas in 2015 to become the largest wind-turbine manufacturer globally. Counting its more domestic-focussed companies, which included United Power, Ming Yang, Envision and CSIC, China owns five of the ten top wind-turbine manufacturing firms,” the report said.

“China will install 36 per cent of all global hydro electricity generation capacity from 2015-2021. Similarly, China will install 40 per cent of all worldwide wind energy and 36 per cent of all solar in this same period.”