China leads in clean energy technology manufacturing

China leads in clean energy technology manufacturing

Summary: With annual sales of EUR 57bn, China overtook EU and became the world's largest clean-tech economy in 2011, according a recent WWF repor


(Screenshot by Liu Jiayi/CBS Interactive at

With an annual sales of EUR 57bn, China overtook EU and became the world's largest clean-tech economy in 2011, according a recent WWF report.

China's success was fueled by low labor and capital costs, stable government policies, strong R&D investment, and a well-developed supply chain.

"Political will is what separates winners from losers in the clean economy of the future, and that's what the rankings show," said WWF global climate and energy policy leader Samantha Smith. "Their governments invested, and now the winners are getting the sales, jobs and technology."

Other major clean-tech regions like the US failed to seize the opportunities in the same way as China did. Even with a 17% annual growth and EUR 37bn sales, the US was still far behind China (57bn) and the EU (47bn).

It (the US) has a strong position mainly in biofuels and does not seem to be interested in advancing in other segments. The US has a good federal policy for biofuels, it lacks similar incentives for other clean-tech segments, and incentives at the state level differ from one state to the next, according to the report.

The report projects that the clean energy sector would be able to challenge the oil and gas market by 2015, with a market size over EUR 240bn.

"The countries that are capturing global markets have all realized that cleantech is an important part of their energy policy, economic policy and industrial policy. These countries are supporting the clean energy technology industry, and have stable, long-term policies generating green investments. They incentivize the right areas, and now they're reaping the rewards," Smith said.

Topic: China

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  • The largest manufacturing economy...

    manufacturers the largest amount of green technologies.

    Only the greens could be surprised.

    But where are all these goods being sold? Export of course, to markets with the massive subsidies required to make green tech competitive. All the while China continues it program of coal fired and nuclear power generation expansion.

    Anyone that have actually been to China is stunned anyone could hold them up as an environmental leader. Either the Left isn't well traveled, or they're attracted by their politics.
    Richard Flude
  • China also installs...

    ...1 giant coal fired power plant per WEEK while watching the rest of the world count carbon credits and monitor greenhouse gasses. They are laughing all the way to the bank, while they flood their own country with smog. Why again was it that they banned driving for a whole week before the Olympics in Beijing???
  • Making green with coal

    Pretty hilarious to read about how China is making all this eco-friendly stuff and destroying their own ecology at the same time. 2 friends, one a Chinese native, have been to China in the past few years and commented about how they never saw a clear sky or the stars, despite cloudless days and nights, the whole time they were there. And it would be one thing if China could contain their pollution to their own borders but winds aloft bring it drifting right over here to the west coast and beyond.
  • Been there done that

    I think due to its own experience and current situation China has realized that it cannot continue on the same path and that massive investments are neccesary to try and stop the slide. Unfortunately a massive and dirty industry and an installed capacity of millions(?) of MegaWatts is not replaced by clean technology in years, but in decades. In their favour is the fact that their government is not driven by lobbying and finance, but seems to favour long term strategies. If only we can get more politicians whose vision stretches further than the next election...