Sunday, 3 April 2011

Chinese investment in renewable energy is very impressive

A report came out recently (1) that says China invested more money in renewable energy in 2010 than any other country. Germany was second, then the USA then Italy. The UK is 13th. I find it more impressive, though, that although the USA beat China in terms of investment per person, China beats the USA by a factor of 4 in investment per unit GDP and also per unit energy consumed (2), albeit less dramatically. Germany won on all measures other than overall investment, which is perhaps not surprising. Most of China's investment has been in wind power, whereas Germany has put most into solar.

Sources: investment level (1), energy usage and population from the EIA (3) GDP from wikipedia from the world bank.

(1) Pew Environment Group

(2) The energy consumption figures I used are from 2008 and China is growing faster than the USA. However, the EIA does not expect China to catch up with the USA on energy consumption until 2015 (EIA – 2010 International Energy Outlook). Even if China and the USA were equal on energy consumption, investment per unit energy consumed would have been 60% higher in China.

(3) EIA International Energy Statistics

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