China’s overseas coal bailout should be a boon for renewables
(Bloomberg) – If China puts the same financial weight behind green energy in emerging countries as it did in developing fossil fuel projects overseas, it will be a sea change for global investment in renewable energies.
President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly this week that China will step up support for developing countries to install low-carbon energy sources, as the country also stops building new ones. coal-fired power plants abroad.
Even without specific details, it’s clear that a pivot from China can make a huge difference. The country’s two main political banks alone have funded more than $ 166 billion in overseas fossil fuel investments since 2008, or about $ 12.8 billion annually, according to the Global Development Policy Center. Boston University.
This amount would have covered the combined renewable investments last year from Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Ireland, Indonesia, Hungary, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, New Zealand, Peru and Hong Kong, according to data from BloombergNEF. .
Chinese investments in coal since 2000 have totaled about $ 52 billion, according to data from the center.
Xi’s association between the coal and renewable energy announcements in his speech on Tuesday is recognition that even as the world steps up its efforts to tackle climate change, many countries need new sources of energy. energy to power industries and lift people out of poverty.
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It will also be good for business. China is the world’s largest producer of solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams, and its state-owned nuclear companies are determined to export their nationally designed power plants. Leading companies including turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. and LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, are among those already aiming for further growth overseas.
“It is clear that the higher level of global ambition provides opportunities for China overseas to finance hydropower and renewable projects,” said Michal Meidan, director of research on China at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies.
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