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Renewable energy: China, India are leaving climate-denying nations -USA and Australia – behind

text-relevantInterview: U.S., Australia left behind as China, India leads clean energy advancement http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2017-01/06/content_40053872.htm, January 6, 2017  While the U.S.-centric world questions renewable energy, China is leading the world in clean-power investment, driving the fledgling industry further and leverage future growth as the sane world looks to transition away from fossil fuels.

China’s domestic investment in renewable energy lifted to 103 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, outbound investment surged 60 percent year-on-year to 32 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, an Institute for Economics and Financial Analysis report showed Friday.

“This is a massive pivot by the Chinese to capitalise on technology control, industry leadership and to take their position global,” the report’s author, IEEFA’s Australasia director of energy finance studies, Tim Buckley told Xinhua.

China wants to “dominate” these industries in a positive way, Buckley said, deploying technology which is now considered the “best in the world” after years of investment.

“Chinese wind turbines are the best in the world, China produces 50-60 percent of the world’s solar modules, they are producing or installing probably half of the world’s dams as we speak,” Buckley said, adding Chinese hydroelectricity engineers are also world leaders.

China’s neighbor India has also showed ambitions on clear energy development.

Its latest national energy plan shows there will be no new coal fired power plants — other than those already under construction — over the next decade, which puts up red flags for Australia’s coal industry and Adani’s recently approved project in Australia’s Galilee Basin.

“When China is moving very very aggressively as a world leader, India is looking to replicate that and accelerate that trend as well and become the low cost manufacturer of this industry transformation, America and Australia risk getting left behind,” Buckley said.

As agreed at the COP21 Paris climate talks in 2015, the countries involved promised to ensure global warming is limited to a two degree Celsius rise through their respective emissions reductions targets. So, investment in new, clean energy technologies is critical.

Western governments such as Australia and the incoming regime of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump however are still championing fossil fuels.

Trump has named former ExxonMobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson as his nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, while Australia’s ruling lawmakers have backed a 100 billion Australian dollar investment target to expand the local coal industry.

Buckley issued a wake-up-call to the U.S. (and Australia), stating following a mandate to move back to fossil fuels might have some short term opportunity, but it will come at significant cost to jobs, technology and investment in the future.

Buckley says Asia will pivot to renewable energy within the next decade for economic reasons, taking the lowest cost energy source going forward, which is solar.

“It’s technology driven, its policy driven, it’s unstoppable.”

Australia’s state governments are now filling the void from the lack of guidance from federal authorities to meet their self-imposed targets, the reduction in the cost of renewable energy is also making it commercially viable.

“The cost of renewables are dropping in double digit declines in cost per megawatt every year,” Buckley said.

“The cost of solar is now down to 80 or 90 Australian dollars per megawatt hour, the cost of wind is similar, only a year ago it was 30 percent higher.”

Green energy critics however contend the intermittent nature of renewables heightens energy security concerns. Australia’s government blamed the intermittent nature of renewable energy for the state-wide blackout in South Australia on Sept. 28 2016 following a violent storm.

Buckley — like previous statements by former State Grid Corp. chairman Liu Zhenya — said grid stability is not an issue, there is no technical barrier to the use of renewable energy, it just needs investment to prepare for future energy needs. Endit

January 9, 2017 - Posted by | general

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