China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology


by Sunny
3rd August, 2011 at 1:31 pm    

This article from Foreign Policy mag has some eye-popping stats:

But before you pack up the kids and move to higher ground to avoid rising sea levels, consider this: China’s fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles are already around 25 percent tougher than those in the United States. The country generated 667 terawatt-hours of electricity from hydro, wind, and nuclear electricity in 2009, a 50 percent increase on four years earlier (and 10 percent more than Brazil’s or India’s current annual electricity consumption). China already accounts for one-quarter of the world’s installed capacity of wind, small-scale hydro, biomass, solar, geothermal, and marine power facilities. And the overall amount of energy used to produce a dollar of GDP in China has dropped 5 percent every year since 1980, according to Qi Ye at the Climate Policy Initiative in Beijing.

China’s attempt at a green leap forward isn’t entirely new news — but this isn’t just a Chinese story. Developing countries as a whole accounted for two-thirds of the growth in renewable and nuclear power generating capacity worldwide between 2002 and 2008, according to my colleague David Wheeler at the Center for Global Development. The developing world is now home to more than half of the world’s renewable energy generating capacity, and it is likely to extend that lead.

Going forward, Wheeler reports that India is planning to generate 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from less than 2 percent today. Ten thousand megawatts of that — a little under 10 percent — would come from new solar energy installations (to put that in perspective, that’s more than total global solar photovoltaic capacity in 2007). At the U.N. global warming conference in Cancún, Mexico, last year, developing countries pledged to restrict their carbon emissions considerably more than did rich country delegations. In particular, China’s promised reductions from what would happen under “business as usual” were a lot larger than promises made by the United States. Indeed, in the U.S. case, some calculations suggest the pledge may amount to the commitment to do nothing, which sounds all too plausible

Its actually not a surprise that developing nations are taking a lead on the UK and USA.

First, they have more to lose from global warming.

Second, they don’t suffer from a small but well-financed and vociferous group of idiot right-wing libertarians who say investment in green technology is a bad idea.

Third, they see alternative energy and other green technology as the future, and want to get ahead while the USA and UK twiddle their thumbs with political paralysis.

I, for one, welcome our soon-to-be overlords.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology http://bit.ly/n5CpAJ


  2. Daniel Proenca

    Blogged: : China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology http://bit.ly/n5CpAJ


  3. Pyrmontvillage

    Blogged: : China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology http://bit.ly/n5CpAJ


  4. think_print

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology http://bit.ly/n5CpAJ


  5. fauxpaschick

    Blogged: : China and India move ahead of USA and UK on green technology http://bit.ly/n5CpAJ




  1. MatGB — on 3rd August, 2011 at 2:24 pm  

    4) because they haven’t got existing infrastructure to support and need to expand anyway, it makes more sense economically to go for the cheapest to run post build?

    Also? Your logic on the first one is fundamentally flawed. Britain is an island with a lot of coastal towns that’s very reliant on the current flow of the Gulf Stream to maintain its current climate, as a nation we have a lot more to fear than India and China.

  2. Rumbold — on 3rd August, 2011 at 5:33 pm  

    If it is true that is good- however, I wouldn’t necessarily trust Chinese production statistics; remember the year when each province reports that its GDP had grown faster than the country’s average?

  3. Richard — on 3rd August, 2011 at 7:51 pm  

    “Second, they don’t suffer from a small but well-financed and vociferous group of idiot right-wing libertarians who say investment in green technology is a bad idea.”

    It is highly unlikely that investors in business to make money are going to pay attention to such people if good money can be made from green tech. Any self-respecting libertarian would say it’s up to the market to decide (and incidentally libertarians tend to believe in using market methods to prevent pollution and other environmental problems, it’s only the Ayn Rand cultists who seem to think pollution is in some way harmless).

  4. persephone — on 3rd August, 2011 at 10:42 pm  

    “Its actually not a surprise that developing nations are taking a lead on the UK and USA.”

    To give this balance, there are UK bodies who proactively share their specialist environmental expertise with developing countries – countries can apply for these UK entities to visit them.

    Countries with whom UK environmental bodies continue to work/train are (apart from EU) in particular countries within East, West, and South Africa, China, and India.

  5. persephone — on 3rd August, 2011 at 10:48 pm  

    Yes there is a reduction in investment towards UK renewables/green technology.

    Its a real shame that the lack of confidence/surety of government stance on electricity market reform and carbon reporting, the green bank has led to a rapid decline – for example:

    The UK (out of 20 economies) was this year only 12/13th as a place for investment on renewables. A year ago I believe the UK placed at 3rd.

  6. Sunny — on 4th August, 2011 at 12:11 am  

    as a nation we have a lot more to fear than India and China.

    In absolute terms, yes, but we can spend more on mitigation technology. In fact, it seems to me we are spending more in trying to deal with the effects of climate change than we are on alternative forms of energy

  7. fugstar — on 4th August, 2011 at 4:07 pm  

    we voted in tories and so have a go slow/local on the green agenda.

    uk advantage over asia, especially east asia will be gone soon.

    howeverboth areas dont have a strong ecological ideology running through the politics, in asia i beleive its more to do with market sense.

    unlike some of the latin american countries where you get things like ministries for rights of mother earth

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