Shifting to a low-carbon economy will require current emitting countries and projected future emitters to rapidly scale up their investments in renewable energy. By some estimates, China is already the leading global investor in renewable energy infrastructure, and is increasing its overseas investments in renewable energy, particularly solar and wind. This working paper aims to help policymakers, investors, and researchers better understand the trends in China’s overseas investments in the wind and solar industries, as well as the factors behind those trends.
The story of the Chinese wind power industry is remarkable. From a
small number of demonstration projects at the beginning of the century,
the Chinese wind power market has grown to become the world’s largest.
At the end of 2010, it overtook the United States to become the leader in terms of cumulative installed capacity. Even though China used to import 80% of its wind energy equipment, domestic manufacturing has exploded since 2006 and now supplies more than 70% of the domestic market. In 2010, China’s wind power market attracted investments of RMB 89 billion (US$14 billion) and employed over 150,000 people.
This brief describes a number of policy tools that can be employed to drive investment in renewable energy technologies and discusses which policy options may be the best fit based on the commercial maturity of a targeted technology.
WRI works with businesses, governments, and researchers of all kinds to ensure that technologies to provide low-carbon energy effectively, efficiently, and inexpensively are available and deployed around the world.
This working paper identifies key components of smart renewable
energy policy in developing countries, focusing on
the power sector. It also provides recommendations
for maximizing the effectiveness of international
support for deployment of renewable energies,
drawn from these on-the-ground experiences in
Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a comprehensive study on renewable energy, entitled Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation. The report finds that by 2050, nearly 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be provided by renewable energy sources. WRI Analyst Lutz Weischer, who works on renewable energy policies, sat down to talk about the report’s implications.
The Two Degrees of Innovation project works with researchers, engineers, policymakers and other practitioners to create the conditions for global innovation in clean energy, from research to deployment.