China is one of the world’s largest consumers of energy and natural resources. That being said, China is taking large steps to cause its energy to be produced in more environmentally friendly ways. It is beginning to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to promote the use of clean energy.
China is advancing toward clean energy at an increased rate for several reasons. First, the clean energy market is currently very popular. Within the last few years, there have been many different research studies that prove the long-term benefits of using alternatives to coal-powered energy. Additionally, despite certain political beliefs, clean energy provides economic incentives as well. In the short-term, clean energy is expensive to establish. Technology such as wind and solar panels are quite expensive initially, but they pay themselves off over time and will be more cost-efficient in the long-term. China will also be able to rely less on importing and mining coal in the future due to the increased use of clean energy. Once established, clean energy will allow China to be much more self-sufficient. These changes will also help China to achieve their mandatory target which was set by China’s National Energy Administration. Their target is that by the year 2030, China will be at 20% clean energy.
What Types of Advancements?
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), China contains 1/3 of the worlds wind energy and 1/4 of the worlds solar energy. Additionally, China sells more electric vehicles than all other countries combined. Currently, approximately 12% of China’s energy comes from different types of clean energy. This may not sound like much, but it is quite a significant change. As of 2015, China was the world’s largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas-emitter. Overall, this is a significant change. China has also begun to shift from coal energy to natural gas. Within the last year, China imported 50% more natural gas than previous years. Additionally, China has begun to develop and construct many more nuclear plants. It has become one of the world leaders in nuclear power plant construction. Due to the expansion in clean energy, China currently has over 2.5 million people employed in the solar energy sector alone. In comparison, the United States only employees roughly 260,000 people within the solar power sector according to the Renewable Energy Agency.
China is beginning to make large advancements in the clean energy sector. This includes advancements in solar and wind energy, the use of electric cars, building nuclear plants, using more natural gas, as well as other means of implementing clean energy. This shift will help them China not only environmentally, but also economically.