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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

China Tops 2011 Index Rankings for Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy World
Aug 23, 2011

Influential commentators in Japan, Germany, Russia, the US, China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Yemen and numerous other nations have all weighed in on the need to de-emphasise nuclear and focus on renewables in the wake of the Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster. So concludes the Ernst & Young 2011 All Renewables Index.

At the same time, recent unrest and the risk of further conflict in the Middle East and North Africa region have highlighted crucial issues around energy supply security and oil price volatility. European governments have slashed budgets and reduced feed-in tariffs (FiTs), causing solar cell prices to fall while solar manufacturers' margins are being squeezed due to rising silicon and other commodity costs.


China has climbed to its highest ever score in the Index, principally by diversifying its renewables portfolio through an increased focus on offshore wind and CSP.

While China surpassed the US to become the world's largest energy consumer in 2010, environmental targets set out in the 12th Five-Year Plan include an increase in the proportion of energy from non-fossil fuels to 11.3 percent by 2015, from the current 8.3 percent. To meet this target, China says it intends to build at least 70 GW of new wind farms and 5 GW of new solar farms.

According to the report, the latest statistics indicate that, in 2010, the China Development Bank (CDB) made around $35 billion in low-interest credit available to Chinese renewables companies. This compares with the $4 billion of grants and $16 billion in loan guarantees awarded to clean-tech companies in the US.

China overtook the US at the end of 2010 to become the world leader in wind power, having installed around 16 GW in 2010 or almost half of global installations - taking cumulative installed capacity to 42 GW. This is contrasted with an additional 5 GW installed in the US last year and a total of 40 GW.

However, China ranks second globally in terms of grid-connected capacity; more than a third of wind capacity had yet to be connected to the national grid at the end of 2010.
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