Clean Power China Has Invested Billions Of Dollars In Renewable Energy Projects In U.S., Europe

Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Mridul Chadha


China Has Invested Billions Of Dollars In Renewable Energy Projects In US, Europe

June 10th, 2013 by  

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.

China Has Invested Billions Of Dollars In Renewable Energy Projects In U.S., Europe

Flag of China in Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Credit: Ecow | Public Domain

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.

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

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  • Fabulous news!

  • NicholB

    I wondering how the renewable energy companies in e.g. Europe see these investments. China seems to help with financing projects that decide to buy Chinese products. This could also be seen as unfair trade practices, by state banks. On the other hand: maybe such loans have low risk, as renewable energy projects have a nearly guaranteed income stream. Is this a market that commercial banks have been neglecting? Or should other states (US, EU) also step in to provide the same type of financial facilitation for their own industries?

    It isn’t at all clear that these ‘investments’ are not perfectly consistent with the unfair trade practices that these anti-dumping measures have been targeted at.

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