China drives global clean energy investments

Large-scale investments in solar and wind energy projects in China help grow worldwide investments in clean tech to US$56.9 billion in second quarter 2012, research states.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Global investments in clean energy rose 24 percent to US$56.9 billion in the second quarter of 2012, driven by an increase in expenditure from China.

According to Bloomberg's New Energy Finance research released Thursday, China's investment had jumped 92 percent to US$18.3 billion in the April-to-June period from the previous quarter. This comes on the back of several large solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in financing.

The phase two investment for the 250-megawatt (MW) Guodian Shanxi Qinyuan Taiyue Wind Farm, for example, had cost US$317 million and represented one of the largest projects financed in the second quarter, while Shanlu & Shengyu Bayannur Wuyuan PV plant was the largest Chinese solar project financed at US$316 million during the same timeframe, the report found.

The largest public market deal in the quarter had been a US$340 million initial public offering (IPO) by Chinese solar water heater company Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy.

Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, noted in the research note that China had recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations and has been the biggest market for wind turbines for several years.

"Its torrent of supply-side investment was one of the main reasons why renewable energy costs have been plummeting; we are now seeing China creating enough demand to start mopping up some of the resulting over-capacity,” Liebreich said, adding the figures show the pivotal role China plays in the clean energy sector.
China had previously undertaken several initiatives to boost clean energy investments. The Chinese government in May said it will fund 97.9 billion yuan (US$15 billion) on energy conservation, emission reduction and renewable energy development, bringing total green tech spending in the country to 170 billion yuan (US$27 billion) in 2012.

Chinese president Hu Jintao had also visited Copenhagen, Denmark, last month to boost green tech trade as part of an agreement to boost bilateral ties in energy efficiency, environmental protection and sustainable urban development.

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