China, Germany move ahead on clean energy: study

Mar 29, 2011 by Shaun Tandon
A staff member stands in between solar panels of the solar plant 'FinowTower' at the grounds of the airport in the eastern German city of Finowfurt in 2010. Germany has outpaced the United States as the number two player in clean energy while China keeps racing ahead as the world's green investment leader, a study said Tuesday.

Germany has outpaced the United States as the number two player in clean energy while China keeps racing ahead as the world's green investment leader, a study said Tuesday.

The survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found strong growth on a global scale for solar, wind and other renewable energy, although one major exception was Britain, which saw a sharp decline after a new government took charge.

"What we believe it all comes down to, frankly, is policy," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Program.

"Germany and China have ambitious renewable energy standards and, certainly in the case of Germany, they also have a feed-in tariff that's really helped them," she said, referring to incentive payments to produce green power.

China, which a year earlier topped the as the green leader, saw no stop to its growth. Clean energy investment reached $54.4 billion in 2010, up 39 percent from the previous year, the Pew report said.

The study estimated that China -- which is fighting severe pollution and its dubious distinction as the top producer of blamed for climate change -- now produces nearly half of the world's wind and solar modules.

Germany's clean energy investment doubled to $41.2 billion, bringing the country to second place, the study said. Germany ramped up both solar and wind power -- especially small solar projects that added up when viewed together.

Despite slipping to third, the United States still enjoyed 51 percent growth in clean energy investment, the study said. The United States plays a leading role in innovation and capital for , but lags behind in manufacturing, the study said.

The survey also reported a more than doubling of investment in clean energy both in Italy, which came in fourth overall, and Australia, which ranked 12th.

But Britain witnessed a 70 percent decline in clean energy investment, slipping out of the top 10, as businesses hesitated at offshore wind projects after Prime Minister David Cameron took over with a mission to trim spending.

"Certainly the coalition government has given investors a signal that things are uncertain and that's the way investors reacted," Cuttino said.

Indonesia and South Korea also saw declines in clean energy investment, although the study's authors said it was possible the nations would rebound due to their policy directions.

In Japan, whose clean energy industry consists almost exclusively of solar, investment rose a modest 10 percent but Cuttino predicted future growth as the world's third largest economy has set ambitious goals over the next decade.

The research was conducted before Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake, which set off a crisis at a nuclear plant that has brought new scrutiny worldwide to atomic energy.

The United States experienced growth in clean energy even though efforts led by President Barack Obama's Democratic Party to mandate cuts in carbon emissions died last year in Congress.

The Obama administration has hoped to find common ground with the rival Republican Party to encourage clean energy without focusing on itself -- an issue that is deeply controversial in Congress.

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said last week that he expected wind and solar energy to become cost competitive with new oil and gas projects by the end of the decade.

Former governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat of Michigan, said companies that invested in her economically hard-hit state in the 18 months to December were projected to create 63,000 green jobs.

"That's not chump change," she said at a Pew event.

"We have a choice as Americans -- we can decide that we're going to take advantage and get into the game of this huge growth, or we can do what we've been doing."

Explore further: Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wind, solar becoming cost competitive: Chu

Mar 23, 2011

Clean sources of energy such as wind and solar will be no more expensive than oil and gas projects by the end of the decade, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday.

China joins U.S. FutureGen project

Dec 16, 2006

China has joined the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership, a plan to develop clean-burning coal, the U.S. Department of Energy said Friday.

China a surprise leader in clean energy: study

Oct 19, 2010

The world's top polluter, China, is a surprise leader in clean energy efforts, a study showed Tuesday, outstripping the United States and Japan and leaving Australia lagging far behind.

Nations to seek clean energy cooperation

Jul 19, 2010

The world's top economies will look next week at ways to work together on clean energy, striking a rare note of cooperation amid an impasse in drafting a new climate change treaty.

Clean energy firms eye Hong Kong IPOs: report

Mar 10, 2011

Two Chinese clean energy firms are planning share sales in Hong Kong to raise a total of $1.1 billion as the country ramps up its use of renewable energy, a report has said.

Taiwan plans massive growth in solar energy

Dec 04, 2009

Taiwan plans to boost its use of solar panels by a factor of 200 over the next decade and a half in an effort to increase clean energy, a ranking official said Friday.

Recommended for you

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

5 hours ago

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

6 hours ago

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Ikea buys wind farm in Illinois

Apr 15, 2014

These days, Ikea is assembling more than just furniture. About 150 miles south of Chicago in Vermilion County, Ill., the home goods giant is building a wind farm large enough to ensure that its stores will never have to buy ...

User comments : 14

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2011
Americans will continue to do what they are doing... That is, losing on every front.

They will continue to do so for the next 2 generations at least.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
Americans will continue to do what they are doing... That is, losing on every front.
They will continue to do so for the next 2 generations at least.
Politicians in the U.S. have been having a feeding frenzy with the taxpayers money, though I believe times are about to change. The change we do not need are more fission nuclear power plants because it will head America in the wrong direction financially straping the U.S. with more debt and less jobs for the middle working class, and the poor.
soulman
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2011
Americans will continue to do what they are doing. That is, losing on every front.

They will continue to do so for the next 2 generations

Things do look bleak. Signs of a recovery have been dashed as the housing market is not recovering, in fact it has gone backwards. And that's just the current climate.

Much worse is the national debt of some 14 trillion dollars, added to by this year's $1.267 trillion deficit (slightly better than last year's).

In 2009 the interest alone on the debt was $383 billion. By 2020, the interest payment will balloon to $840 billion, making it the fourth largest budget item. That's nearly a trillion dollars of dead money, per year!

soulman
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2011
The only was the US will climb out of this ever growing black hole is by:

1) Increasing operational efficiency
2) Cutting unnecessary and/or wasteful spending (military spending and various industry subsidies, but not health care, science and education).
3) Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop waging unilateral wars. Signs of that changing as exemplified in the Libyan operation - good.
4) Raise taxes, as Reagan did (though not many republicans seem to want to talk about this).
5) Create new jobs in new and emerging sectors.

Once the economy is out of the toilet, debt reduced and revenues have improved, you can start thinking about cutting taxes again.
unknownorgin
not rated yet Mar 30, 2011
Countries that do not have armys all over the planet will enjoy economic progress and a better standard living from solar energy because it is cheaper in the long run.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
3) Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop waging unilateral wars. Signs of that changing as exemplified in the Libyan operation - good.
The "Libyan operation" is not an example of "stop waging unilateral wars". It's an example of double standards when compared to the Israel war on Gaza.
soulman
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2011
The "Libyan operation" is not an example of "stop waging unilateral wars".

Clearly it is. If anything the US was reluctant to get involved and it was the French (seeking relevance) who were gung-ho about taking military action. That the US has sought UN agreement along with the Arab league before getting involved, won't be putting boots on the ground and has turned over control to NATO is overwhelming evidence that there was nothing unilateral about its actions.

It's an example of double standards when compared to the Israel war on Gaza.

That's a crap argument to make in rebuttal, as it has no relevance to the Libyan operation I spoke to.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
That the US has sought UN agreement along with the Arab league before getting involved, won't be putting boots on the ground and has turned over control to NATO is overwhelming evidence that there was nothing unilateral about its actions.
Ok, I have a different understanding of the meaning of "unilateral". In my definition it means that one party is attacking another party without having been attacked by the other party. It's also called an aggression war.

And: from a global point of view, there's no essential difference between French and US imperialism. They already worked together one century ago when killing Chinese in China during the "boxer" uprising.
soulman
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2011
Ok, I have a different understanding of the meaning of "unilateral". In my definition it means that one party is attacking another party without having been attacked by the other party. It's also called an aggression war.

Unilateral just means going at it alone without a broad consensus or agreement between world powers.

...there's no essential difference between French and US imperialism. They already worked together one century ago when killing Chinese in China during the "boxer" uprising.

Why bring up imperialism and the Chinese? My original posts weren't about general geopolitics, but about what the US can reasonably do now and going forward to address its debt problem.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
Unilateral just means going at it alone without a broad consensus or agreement between world powers.
"Latus, lateris" is the Latin word for "side" (as part of a body). "Unilateral" doesn't mean "being one entity" but "belonging to one larger entity". And in fact, the entity pushing the aggression against Libya is the NATO, aided by some Gaddafi haters from Saudi Arabia in the Arab League and the US vassal Qatar. Whether France, Britain, or the US is the primary driving force in this latest imperial enterprise doesn't matter.
Why bring up imperialism and the Chinese? My original posts weren't about general geopolitics
Others may focus on isolated events. I prefer to analyze the historical and global interconnections and to cover up inconsistencies.
It's an example of double standards when compared to the Israel war on Gaza.
That's a crap argument to make in rebuttal, as it has no relevance to the Libyan operation I spoke to
The larger context is more relevant.
soulman
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2011
Um, okay, whatever. You clearly want to have a different conversation than I do, so there's no point in me responding to you further. I'm sure someone else will come along and engage you in the conversation you wish to have.
apex01
not rated yet Mar 30, 2011
So it's ok for the President to wage war without approval from Congress?
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2011
So it's ok for the President to wage war without approval from Congress?
Besides that, building more fission nuke power plants knowing well there are better options. Think corruption, stupidty, debt and zombies from radioactivity exposure! Now that is change we can count on from someone who wishes to destroy America!
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2011
So it's ok for the President to wage war without approval from Congress?
Besides that, building more fission nuke power plants knowing well there are better options. Think corruption, stupidty, debt and zombies from radioactivity exposure! Now that is change we can count on from someone who wishes to destroy America!

'Fallout' is a videogame, not a realistic model of an irradiated wasteland.

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...