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China Leading the Asian Push into Green Technology

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
green technology USB plant

The race is on for worldwide leadership in green technology, and China leads the way as it spearheads the Asian push and is now rapidly making its way to the top.

According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, green technology is set to be Asia’s main fuel to drive continuous growth and to reduce its reliance on industries and markets in the West. According to the UN , green technology will provide export-dependent economies like China new markets to sustain economic growth in the wake of the global financial crisis that hit the United States and Europe, and which subsequently resulted in reduced demand in many markets. China is at the forefront of green technology and is expected to become the top exporter in the coming years, a fact that has become more evident now with China’s role as a top manufacturer to the world.

Chinese green technology initiatives

Since 2009, China has invested more than 34.6 billion dollars per year in green industry, an amount which is expected to grow in the coming years. According to the Center for American Progress, China spends approximately $12 million an hour on green technologies, 10 times more than American investments, making it the world’s largest investor in this field.

These investment initiatives are spurred more out of necessity than anything else; particularly with regard to the critical environmental problems China is now facing. The so called “Green Wall of China” is China’s massive effort to stem desertification in the hands of nearby Gobi Desert, and this includes creating a 2,800 km long forest strip along its borders which is expected to be completed by 2074.

At the forefront of China’s green technology initiatives is its aggressive renewable energy production, with wind and solar energy at the helm. One of its leading wind energy firms, China Goldwind, recently launched a $917 million project, while solar module giant Chaori Solar initiated a $360 million project during the last quarter of last year. More and more renewable energy manufacturers and developers are expected to jump on the green tech bandwagon this year.

The aggressive move towards renewable energy production is a necessity for the country which is now faced with an imminent lack of oil, coal and other fossil-fuel resources. With a continuously growing population, millions of cars added each year, and doubling demands for electricity for use in its growing industries, relying on green technology is a desperate move for survival.

China’s green technology initiatives have a positive economic side effect however, and are fueling huge profits for green tech companies which will eventually catapult China as the clean tech laboratory and manufacturer for the world. Solar panels and other green technology products are exported heavily and will eventually end up in homes, schools, and buildings in the West. The recent visit of China’s Hu Jintao to the US sealed a $45 billion export deal which focuses on cleantech solutions and green technologies.

The future of green technology in China and the APAC region

The United Nations has praised green technology efforts by China and other Asian countries such as South Korea as a move to shift production and consumption towards a more environmentally sustainable path. South Korea is planning to invest $84 billion in green technology initiatives which will be implemented within a five-year period.

China, which has already invested up to $100 billion dollars each year for a projected 10-year period, is planning to expand its renewable energy initiatives further with another $440 billion stimulus package. This is in line with the country’s efforts to cut energy consumption by 20 percent and reduce pollution down to 2005 levels.

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