China outstrips U.S. in clean energy investment

China outstrips U.S. in clean energy investment

Summary: Can the U.S. be competitive if it doesn't pick up the pace?

TOPICS: Banking, China

Our friends in China spent close to $34.6 billion on clean energy invests in 2009, compared with the $18.6 billion spent by the United States, according to new research published by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew's new report, "Who's Winning the Clean Energy? Growth, Competition and Opportunity in the World's Largest Economies," found that clean energy investments have expanded by about 230 percent since 2005. In spite of the worldwide recession, total clean energy investments were about $162 billion in 2009. This year's total is projected at $200 billion.

Cumulatively, over that five year timeframe, the investments by the United States have trailed those of Turkey, Brazil, China, the United Kingdom and Italy). Total clean energy capacity is about 250 gigawatts, which represents about 6 percent of the global energy production capacity.

Topics: Banking, China

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  • Green == Red

    One of the leaders is "green" jobs is Spain. Of
    course, Spain also has off the charts
    unemployment. Studies done there have shown
    that for every green job created, they have lost
    two other jobs.

    Perhaps we should let the free market drive our
    move towards green energy and not get too
    excited about our current relative position? If
    and when green energy becomes more cost
    effective we will transition nicely. I don't
    mind letting China foot the bill for being on
    the bleeding edge.
    • Green == Red

      Well said. Perhaps we should let the free market be free. Solutions that provide a better ROI will naturally rise to the fore (provided that the gov't doesn't over regulate it.) It just seems they can't keep their hands off of anything.
    • Green = green

      When you calculate TOTAL cost, including the reality of
      global warming - storm recovery and increasingly
      massive investments on rebuilding and fortifying
      coastal communities, in particular. There are many
      hidden "subsidies" of the status quo... besides
      housing/construction, transportation (roads vs. rails) is
      another area where true costs are not borne by

      China will be happy to bank profits from it's [b]long
      term[/b] investment in clean energy.
  • American business not up to the challenge

    It used to be about hard work, and creating things. Now it's about sitting in an office and scheming up ways to increase stock prices without doing any work. As 2009 has shown, that increasingly amounts to real-estate fraud, insurance fraud, and investment fraud. That's hardly a foundation to be a world-leader in anything.
    • Capitalism generally isn't up to the challenge

      That's why we THE PEOPLE created regulatory bodies to keep the capitalists on a leash, and force their greatest instrument, the corporation, to "Serve the public interest" as it says in every charter.
      They always lack the will to do what is right, and do what is profitable instead.
      The problem is there are cheerleaders on the right working for them to prevent regulation, thus the 2007 crash.
  • Clean or renewable?

    I notice the report is fairly well limited to renewable clean energy sources. I suspect that China's clean growth is even more spectacular if you add in nuclear.

    The US appears to be looking heavily towards bio-fuels. The linked report indicates that this is a good thing, but I recall that we've been heavily criticized for this emphasis in the past on several accounts. Our wind electricity generation has those nasty distribution issues. My guess is that we'd be better off backing some of the new nuclear technologies if we want clean, plentiful, "low" cost, and usefully located.
  • Will be too late very soon

    Dear Mr President, put your focus on clean energy and get people to work [there's still a lot to clean up in America], get them to exercise, let them eat and live healthy. And please help the homeless people get back on their feet. This supposed to be the 'greatest' nation in the world, right ?

    While a lot of people waste time bickering on the health care debate, other countries get the lead with clean energy. The US continues to be too dependent on (foreign) oil. If the people don't realize that, nothing changes, they continue to pay up to the oil barons. Sad! It's $$$ that could help pay their houses off, it's $$$ that could be put towards education of their kids, it's $$$ they could put towards retirement, or towards health care.
    • .

    • You forgot

      And what I want more than anything is World Peace.
  • my question is, where is the money invested going??

    I believe the majority of it is in the US, but could be wrong. Thanks China, for keeping us green!!
    sparkle farkle
  • China is going to outstrip the U.S. in many things

    Especially if the Government keeps deficit spending.

    Not to mention, China has the worlds largest Hydro electric projects going (estimated to be 300 GW by 2020) and the worlds largest nuclear projects (estimated to be 250 GW by 2030).

    So the next time you see Obama patting himself on the back for passing National Death Care, just remember all this wonderful social spending has handed our manufacturing, technology and financial future to the Chinese.

    "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."
    • It strikes me that a great deal of (thermal) energy is being wasted

      in the US, as exemplified by phrases like 'National Death Care', which are far more conducive to producing heat rather than light (low thermal efficiency). But on the other hand, that energy would seem to be anything but green. In any event, if terms like the above are characteristic of the debate climate in the US, that country can indeed count on being left behind...

    • Last article I read - China wasn't so hip on the

      deficit spending either, maybe a little worse than the US because it was totally dependent on export trade...
  • RE: China outstrips U.S. in clean energy investment

    Well lets mention a few things.
    1. This report does not consider Nuclear energy as 'clean'.
    2. China is about the dirtiest place on earth and has been trying to corner the market on coal.
    3. China needs far more energy then any other country so naturally its investing in renewable sources as its energy.

    I do agree the US is missing the point on a number of things. The place where the wind is in the US does not have the electrical distribuation system to take the energy from those areas and distribute it elsewhere. Its literally just like the internet. If you don't have the 'backbone' you can't increase your 'bandwidth'. The high energy backbone of the US pretty much stops at the Indiana-Illinois border. So we have windfarms that literally aren't connected to the national distribution system.

    This is the stuff that governments are supposed to be taking leads in getting resolved. Its not good enough to just talk about things, you actually have to do them.

    China needs to outinvest everyone just to catch up. They have so much coal burning inefficient energy its not funny. And they built the worlds largest Hydroelectric dam right on top of an earthquake fault. So there's investing in renewable energy and investing WISELY. Know the difference.
    Bill F.
  • China Still the Biggest Carbon Polluter

    Well, that makes it seems their industries are clean. In reality, they are continuing to build coal fired plants and dams to fill the energy demand. Even their most expensive dam, the Three Gorge Dam will meet only 3% of their demand. Also, if they are including those dams as part of the Green calculation they aren't really green. Finally, any real green will fill in gaps in demand. But they and India greenhouse gas contribution far exceed the US and Europe
  • RE: China outstrips U.S. in clean energy investment

    The reign of biological entities is coming to an end. 'Lor'