As China chases the US for the title of world's biggest consumer for everything from timber to energy—and with "biggest CO2 producer" already in the bag—no one doubts the need for lots of renewable power. While the government's been revving up its cleaner engines for a couple of years, state-run China Power International's announcement on Monday of a 30 billion yuan (US$3.1-US$3.9 billion) investment in renewables heralds the country's biggest single such investment by any company, Chinese or not. By 2010, it plans to put into operation 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity -- including wind, hydropower and biomass -- have another 1,000 MW under construction and have a further 1,000 MW in the pipeline. The company hopes to bankroll its investment, which beats those of Shell (an estimated $1.25 billion from 1996 to 2006) and BP ($900 million since 1999), by listing shares on the mainland's booming stock exchanges, Chief Executive Li Xiaolin told reporters on Monday. And it also anticipates benefiting from the government's increasing affinity for clean energy, be it in the form of smarter regulation or financial incentives.
China has said it intends to spend an estimated US$200 billion on renewable energy over the next 15 years, partly to build hydropower, wind- and solar-powered plants to fuel its growth. Greatly boosting the country's renewable energy development, as the New York Times reports today and as we have reported previously, is Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism. China gets about $3 billion of the $4.8 billion in yearly subsidies, but, it seems, to the detriment of clean energy in other developing nations.
: : Reuters via PlanetArk