China leads global ef­forts in clean en­ergy ex­pan­sion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

BEI­JING — As the de­vel­op­ment of clean en­ergy reaches record lev­els, China, the world’s largest en­ergy in­vestor and in­no­va­tion cen­ter, has made stronger-than-ex­pected ef­forts to ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment.

Fatih Birol, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency, on Tues­day lauded China’s ef­forts in the re­search and de­vel­op­ment of clean en­ergy, say­ing “China takes once again the lead­er­ship”.

On Sun­day, China com­pleted a 60-day trial of min­ing gas hy­drates, com­monly known as com­bustible ice, in the South China Sea, mark­ing a break­through in the search for al­ter­na­tive clean en­ergy re­sources.

It was an­nounced that the ex­plo­ration pro­duced more than 300,000 cu­bic me­ters of gas, mainly meth­ane, with an av­er­age daily ex­trac­tion of more than 5,000 cu m of high­pu­rity gas, and a high­est daily out­put of 35,000 cu m.

“What we are see­ing is that the nat­u­ral gas in­dus­try is in trans­for­ma­tion,” Birol said. “We are see­ing more and more un­con­ven­tional gas be­ing part of the to­tal gas mix.”

In a re­port re­leased at the 22nd World Pe­tro­leum Congress in Is­tan­bul on Tues­day, the IAE said that as the world’s largest en­ergy in­vestor, China saw a 25 per­cent de­cline in coal-fired power in­vest­ment last year and is in­creas­ingly driven by clean elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and net­works, as well as en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in­vest­ment.

The agency ex­pects China to over­take Europe within a few years in terms of en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency in­vest­ment, as the coun­try has re­placed Ja­pan as the world’s top in­vestor on en­ergy re­search and de­vel­op­ment as a share of the GDP.

“China con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate re­new­ables growth, con- trib­ut­ing about 40 per­cent of global growth — more than the en­tire OECD (the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment) — and sur­passed the United States as the largest pro­ducer of re­new­able power last year,” BP chief econ­o­mist Spencer Dale said in the re­port.

Global hy­dro power rose 2.8 per­cent in 2016 from a year ago, with more than 40 per­cent of the growth from China, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est BP Sta­tis­ti­cal Re­view of World En­ergy re­leased on Mon­day.

In the mean­time, global nu­clear power went up by 1.3 per­cent, with China con­tribut­ing al­most all the growth, the re­port said.

The BP data showed car­bon emis­sions in the world rose slightly by 0.1 per­cent in 2016, while in China emis­sions fell 0.7 per­cent from a year ago.

“To­day China is num­ber one in terms of wind power, num­ber one in terms of so­lar and num­ber one in terms of the en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency ef­fort as well as in nu­clear power,” Birol said.

En­ergy in­vest­ment around the world amounted to $1.7 tril­lion last year, ac­count­ing for 2.2 per­cent of global GDP, the IEA re­port said, not­ing that spend­ing on the elec­tric­ity sec­tor world­wide ex­ceeded the com­bined spend­ing on oil, gas and coal sup­ply for the first time.

“Our anal­y­sis shows that smart in­vest­ment de­ci­sions are more crit­i­cal than ever for main­tain­ing en­ergy se­cu­rity and meet­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal goals,” Birol said in the re­port.

China con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate ... con­tribut­ing about 40 per­cent of global growth.”

Spencer Dale, BP chief econ­o­mist

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