US ranks 17 as clean tech producer, China is No. 2

May 08, 2011 By ARTHUR MAX , Associated Press

Denmark earns the biggest share of its national revenue from producing windmills and other clean technologies, the United States is rapidly expanding its clean-tech sector, but no country can match China's pace of growth, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.

China's production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.

"The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively," said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.

Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and , or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.

is the largest producer in money terms, earning more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its gross domestic product.

The U.S. ranks 17 in the production of clean technologies with 0.3 percent of GDP, or euro31.5 billion ($45 billion), but those industries have been expanding at a rate of 28 percent per year since 2008.

"The U.S. is growing substantially, so it seems the policy of (President Barack) Obama is working," Pols said. But the U.S. cannot compare with China, he said.

"When you speak to the Chinese, climate change is not an ideological issue. It's just a fact of life. While we debate and the transition to a low carbon economy, the debate is passed in China," Pols said. "For them it's implementation. It's a growth sector, and they want to capture this sector."

The report was prepared by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a global firm based in Germany. It gathered data on 38 countries from energy associations, bank and brokerage reports, investor presentations, the and a score of other sources. It measured the earnings from producing renewables like biofuels, wind turbines and thermal equipment, and energy efficiency technology such as low-energy lighting and insulation.

"Clean technologies are really growing fast, but China is responsible for the majority of that growth," said Ward van den Berg, who compiled and analyzed the data for the consultancy firm.

Until recently, Chinese massive production of solar cells was aimed at the export market, but they are now making solar systems for the home market, as they have been doing for several years in wind , Van den Berg said.

Following Denmark and China, other countries in the top five clean-tech producers, in terms of percentage of GDP, are Germany, Brazil and Lithuania, the report said.

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macsglen
5 / 5 (2) May 08, 2011
Wouldn't you know it . . . money talks, and apparently, the environment will be saved by profiteers.

Talk about irony . . .
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
Wouldn't you know it . . . money talks, and apparently, the environment will be saved by profiteers.

Talk about irony . . .


Well, apparently Wind Turbines are so much cheaper to make than Solar Photovoltaics that they are already very profitable in the long term, being roughly a 1000% return on total cost through their expected lifetime, making them one of the best lifetime investments possible.

Wind turbines are more cost effecient than photovoltaics, but not as energy dense as photovoltaics.

I am not sure how wind turbines compare to solar boiler operations in cost efficiency. However, I know both solar boilers and solar forced air heaters are much cheaper and much more energy dense than photovoltaics.

Photovoltaics should basicly be limited to the rooftops of the end user, or specialized or supplemental applications where boilers aren't practical, such as land/water limited locations.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (2) May 08, 2011
Wind power does have two obvious big advantages over solar though...

1) Works 24 hours per day instead of 6 to 12...yeah...

2) Clouds and even somewhat severe weather is actually a good thing, as power increases with the cube of wind speed. So if you double wind speed during a storm, max power output actually goes up by a factor of 8, to within the limits of the generator and transmission lines...

Solar's biggest benefit, especially in the case of boilers, is in maximum energy density per unit land area, which is far, far greater than wind turbines, even after you factor in the 12 hours of down time for night...

So anyway, the general rule should be wind turbines where ever possible, and solar boilers everywhere else, including in some cases, inside the spaces between the wind turbines...
Na_Reth
1 / 5 (3) May 08, 2011
China #2???

The list is flawed...
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (3) May 08, 2011
China #2???

The list is flawed...


Probably not...

The reason China is such a huge polluter is because they have 1.3 billion people, most of them still using highly polluting technologies.

However, their huge population gives them huge potential productivity, roughly 4.33 times that of the U.S. if they had identical technologies.

So it is easily possible for China to be both the highest polluter and the highest, or second highest, producer of "clean" technologies simultaneously.

It's simple mathematics really. All else being equal, if you have 4.33 times as many people you will make 4.33 times as much pollution, but you will also make 4.33 times as many products, including "clean energy" products.

If you live in a rational, socialistic country where the government can quickly switch gears and steer the entire economy in a specific, strategic direction to concentrate efforts, then you can also further benefit from the larger population.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (3) May 08, 2011
So while population increases pollution, creating problems, it also gives them a much larger labor force and much larger amount of brains working on solving problems and making products.

By comparison, in an alleged Democratic Republic, which is actually a Capitalistic Aristocracy, it takes decades to get anything done, because each party spends their entire term doing absolutely nothing but destroying whatever the previous party did. Wealthy people who already control most everything have no motivation to change, since most change can only weaken their individual political or financial powers.

In America and most of Europe, inventions and change mostly only happen when someone realizes their individual, selfish gains can be enhanced by that change, AND even then, ONLY if the person(s) in control of the wealth and power gets to KEEP control of the wealth and power in the "updated" version of the economic or social model.
MorituriMax
3.7 / 5 (3) May 08, 2011
So is East Germany #3?

Oh wait, they're the biggest PRODUCERS of CLEAN TECH.. now what rank are they as actual POLLUTERS?
M_N
3.7 / 5 (6) May 08, 2011
"When you speak to the Chinese, climate change is not an ideological issue. It's just a fact of life."

Nonsense. My wife is Chinese, and I know a bunch of Chinese people. Not one of them is concerned about "climate change". The Chinese are quite happy to sell expensive "green" products to the rest of the world, while massively increasing their own CO2 emissions...
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
Heh, I should have asked if Chernobyl was #3... 8 )
mrwolfe
not rated yet May 08, 2011
M N, I think you missed the point. As the report mentioned, China is now making solar systems for their own internal use. This means that although China is currently the world's largest polluter, with 77% growth in clean tech production year on year, they won't be that way for long. I think it's completely obvious why clean technology is taking off in China. Clean technology is becoming a huge money spinner.

I've been saying for over a decade that greed will save the world. The challenge has always been to make doing the right thing the most profitable way to do things. Free market economy will do the rest.
M_N
2 / 5 (4) May 09, 2011
Mr Wolfe, I agree that China is doing this because of money; they will only do what they think is best for China. Some renewables make a lot of sense financially, such as solar hot water, which is why you find it on almost every building in over there, despite there being NO SUBSIDIES for doing so.

However, renewables can't keep increasing at 77% for long, particularly if there aren't huge developments in energy STORAGE. Very few renewables are capable of true baseload power. They are building coal-fired plants at the rate of ONE PER WEEK, and coal will be the main power source for many years to come.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 10, 2011
China #2???

The list is flawed...


It's a business decision for China. They have to import more fuel and are susceptible to rising fuel costs, as opposed to the US which provides about half of it's consumption domestically.

They have fewer amazingly expensive and entrenched power plants to contend with - IE, the US is not going to decommision a perfectly good power plant just to drop in a wind turbine.

It is far easier for china to drop a windmill here and there than lay out new powerlines all over rural china, which makes traditional power much more expensive than renewables in some places.

...And most importantly, china makes more than half the worldwide production of electric generating windmills. Why? because there's a business opportunity and they want to make sure that when the world is on clean energy, that energy has the made in china stamp on it.
antialias
not rated yet May 16, 2011
So is East Germany #3?

I think you missed a news flash somewhere back in 1989.