Recently, China has been working hard to reverse their image as the world’s most polluted country and the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. A recent study revealed that they are now the world’s leader in clean energy efforts, leaving other more-developed countries far behind.
The report, which was sponsored by Australia’s Climate Institute think tank, revealed that China is leading the world in renewable energy efforts and is making significant strides toward reducing pollution in their country and around the world.
One major reason China has been named a leader in green energy is because of their efforts to cut pollution from the electricity generation process. The electricity generation process can be blamed for much of the pollution in China, as well as around the world. They are doing this mainly by offering incentives to the people who are responsible for manufacturing the resource. They award incentives, often in cash form, to manufacturers who develop low-carbon ways of developing electricity.
China is second only to Great Britain when it comes to their efforts to cut pollution from the electricity generation process. China’s efforts are estimated at US $14.20 per ton of carbon while Great Britain’s efforts are estimated at US $29.30 per ton of carbon.
Countries lagging far behind China and Great Britain in their efforts to clean up the electricity generation process are Japan, Australia, the U.S and South Korea. Together, these countries account for about half of the world’s emissions per year.
Overall, China is the leader when it comes to clean energy investments at the global level. In 2009, China’s investment in green energy was over $35 billion. The United States and Britain both came in way below China in clean energy investments, contributing $18 and $11 respectively.
Most of China’s clean energy investment money went toward their commitment to shutting down more than 100 small coal-fired power plants. They want to shut down these plants and replace them with cleaner coal stations, which they state will reduce emissions by 15 percent.
They are also investing their money in numerous other green energy development products and have made a goal to generate 15 percent of China’s total energy from green sources by the year 2020.
There is no telling how China’s investment in green energy will affect energy consumers or power companies around the world. Consumers will just have to wait and see how China’s money will affect the environment as well as energy availability and cost in the coming years.