China takes global lead in clean energy
China’s overseas investment in renewable energy projects jumped last year by 60 percent to a record $32 billion (30 billion euros), marking its leadership in the global market for clean energy, a report said.
In 2016, China finalised 11 foreign deals worth more than a billion dollars each, and is expected to pick up pace this year, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
“Renewable energy will be the pillar for China’s energy structure transition,” said Li Yangzhe, deputy head of the National Energy Administration, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Overseas investments last year ranged from lithium battery makers in Australia and Chile to an electricity distribution deal in Brazil and the building of a solar cell factory in Vietnam. China now owns five of the six largest solar module manufacturing firms in the world, according to the report.
China’s emerging dominance of the clean energy sector also extends to jobs. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that China holds 3.5 million of the 8.1 million renewable energy jobs globally, compared to less than 800,000 in the US. China’s National Energy Administration said the nation’s renewables sector would generate at least 13 million jobs by 2020.