It is a well known fact that China is the leader in developing domestic renewable energy infrastructure, but an analysis of the country’s foreign investment shows that it has also made significant contributions in the development of renewable energy infrastructure across the world.
The Chinese government and Chinese companies have made investments of at least $40 billion in renewable energy projects across the world over the last ten years. According to the analysis done by the World Resources Institute (WRI), China made at least 124 investments in solar and wind energy projects in 33 countries.
Investment and capacity data is available for about 50 projects, according to which China has invested $10 billion in 16 projects and $27.5 billion in 38 solar power projects, which represent a cumulative generation capacity of 6,000 MW.
Interestingly, the majority of the investments have been made in developed countries, led by the United States, Germany, and Italy. While most of the investments were made in implementing the power generation projects, several investments were made in the manufacturing and sales sector.
At least 25% of the investments have been made in the US, with most of them being in the solar energy sector. Of the top five countries attracting the most investments, four are developed countries. Among the developing countries, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ethiopia have attracted significant investments.
Chinese companies have been leaders in the solar photovoltaics manufacturing sectors for some years now. These companies have taken advantage of their massive manufacturing capacity and cheaper products to proliferate them in the developed and emerging solar energy markets across the world.
In a number of cases, these solar power product manufacturers have partnered with project developers in foreign countries for project implementation or they have facilitated finance for the project developers by roping in Chinese banks for loans. Such arrangements have been a win-win scenario for the Chinese manufacturers as well as the project developers.
The report by WRI also notes that while the amount of investment made by China in international renewable energy projects is very significant, the country has made even greater investments in the coal, oil, and gas sectors.
With the Chinese manufacturers now facing anti-dumping investigations all around the world, the Chinese government may be wise to highlight the significant investments it has made in strengthening the renewable energy sectors in the very countries which are looking to subject its manufacturers to anti-dumping duties.