China is taking a major clean energy turn

by / Wednesday, 15 April 2015 / Published in Smartgrid-CI Blog

By PATRICK LEVY

Government action for cleaner energy and environment sustainability are responding to growing popular discontent.

China is changing very fast not just economically but in thinking and action. The country has now reached a point where most stakeholders understand that the environmental damage caused by its booming economy must be curbed. The country just renewed a “Green GDP initiative” that will try to quantify the environmental damage of the country’s economic fast development. At the same time the government deciding to spend more on environmental protection; no less than $150B in the next five years.

Although these initiatives are greeted with some skepticism, it should be considered in the light of other significant events taking place in the most populated country on the planet, many of which took place in the past few days.

A few days ago, a massive dam project on the Yangtze River was axed by the government, something unimaginable only a couple years ago. At the same time the Hebei Province, which is the most populated in the country with 74 million people, decided to cut down its coal use.

One of the consequences is the recent amazing surge in the Chinese electric car market. The number of units sold is still very small but the tripled in one quarter and the nascent market is becoming a launching for a nascent industry.

While at the same time, China is becoming a world’s leading renewable energy market, thanks to some recent major initiatives.

The country has actually no choice. The environmental situation is so bad that the risk of social unrest is growing ad for the first time, the time the political threat is officially recognized by the government.

While environmental activism is becoming visible and public discontent against pollution growing exactly when the coutry is experiencing a very significant GDP growth slowdown that could potentialy trigger even more political unrest .

 

 

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