China grows increasingly innovative in energy tech: report
China’s investment in energy research and development has grown exponentially, according to a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report.
“If these trends continue, we can see China as the innovation leader worldwide,” said Jean-François Gagné, head of the energy technology policy division at the IEA.
Energ y Technology Perspectives 2015, evaluates the role of technology in a long-term energy transition. China was studied as a representative emerging economy that could contribute greatly to fostering the low-carbon transition through innovation in technologies and policies.
“About 70 percent of the reductions in our scenarios come from non-OECD countries,” Gagné said, quoting the report.
that innovation can help them meet the nexus of economic growth, energy security and climate objectives,” Gagné said at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington on July 10.
The recent adoption of more stringent air pollution and environmental policies in China, along with measures to improve coal quality and the efficiency of coal-fired electricity generation are examples of clean energy innovation incentives in the rapidly developing country.
Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum at the Wilson Center in Washington, says she has seen strong political will to push forward for clean energy. China has been the leading investor in clean energy technology, and Turner believes air pollution has been a major driver.
Wang Tao, resident scholar in the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, agrees that there is already major political support for innovative energy technology.
The main challenge now, Wang points out, is in making it economically viable.
Gagné also said that the report shows a future for China that does not need to compromise economic growth while developing sustainable energy technology, and innovation lies at the center of that.
“Our report has identified several areas where China both has great potential in innovative technology, but has recognized that potential and is working very actively,” Gagné told China Daily.
That is shown in a wide range of areas, including solar and wind energy, carbon capture and storage, as well as infrastructure aspects like highefficiency transmission grids. Liu Jingyang in Washington contributed to this story.