18 October 2010

Giant Panda

The FT reports on a big number:
[Chinese] officials have aired a goal of a 40-45 per cent cut in carbon intensity by 2020, and the new five-year plan will reinforce that with an interim target.

To achieve these goals, China is preparing a big spending programme to boost clean energy. The new energy investment plan, which has been reported by official media but not yet formally approved, could see as much as Rmb5,000bn ($753bn) poured into developing alternative energy sources in the next decade.


  1. Well, they've certainly got the money, unlike the US and Europe.

  2. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the possibility of US trade sanctions over Chinese subsidies to its clean energy industry.

    I'll never understand why the US didn't use its leverage to fight the Chinese over their countless discriminatory trade policies.

    Ten years ago we had enormous leverage. The Chinese couldn't have afforded to fight. Today the Chinese are capable of weathering an all out trade war. Most of our leverage has permanently evaporated.

  3. They say non-fossil fuel energy is expected to be 15% of the whole by 2020, and in the article it seems that 'wind, solar and biomass is set to provide 3 per cent of China’s energy..... Hydropower and nuclear energy will rise from 7 per cent to 9 per cent in the next five years.' So that's 12%, up by 3 or 4% from 2010, with another 3% by 2020.

    That can't drive the type of energy and carbon intensity improvements they state, can it?

    as per the article, and ?

  4. It appears that reality is finally setting in the UK - http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Severn-Estuary-Tidal-Power-Barrage-Scrapped-By-Decc-But-New-Nuclear-Plants-Announced/Article/201010315760478

    Not the same magnitude as China - but at least it is a definitive step in the right direction.

  5. A link I found over at the nature blog to a google translation of the actual Chinese Government Text. "Clean Coal" is a big part of their plans.


  6. China just announced a monetary tightening.

    In my opinion they have (correctly) identified the possibility of Chinese trade behavior becoming a major issue in the US after the election, and are moving forward with an aggressive carrot and stick response.

    The threat of a Trillion dollars in subsidies is a stick which can be inexpensively removed during the negotiations... and which will provide the Chinese with a talking point the next time the US asks them to reduce emissions.

    I wish the US could act as smartly as they do. Its not like the Chinese leadership actually gets along with each other. But they manage to implement coherent economic policies which are at least as good as what a single academic working alone could come up with.

  7. Is that a flying panda in that photo ?

  8. China's clean energy push has been hydro-- a taboo energy source for the US.

  9. I wonder if China is going to apply a Reagan-esque policy? Get the West, which can less afford squandering money on useless alternative energy projects, to spend its way into self-destruction trying to keep up with the ultimately symbolic effort China will make towards the same?

  10. So the Chinese have finally learned how the game is played. The competition is for who can announce the biggest and most absurd target, not for who can actually make any significant changes to carbon intensity.

  11. Good for China. More alternative energy is great for the planet.

    Unless you live in China: