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China is rapidly developing its clean technology capacity to meet its growing energy demands. It is a world leader in investment and manufacturing of many sources of renewable energies such as solar and wind technologies and creating opportunities for foreign firms to benefit from ambitious targets laid out in the 12th Five-year Plan.
“China sees the rapid development of a clean energy economy as the way of the future and a high national priority” said The Hon. Richard Alston, Director, CQS Australia and NANUK Asset Management. In building its new economy, it is diversifying the sources of energy creation and in turn, boosting manufacturing and creating jobs.
However this does not mean it will abandon its reliance on fossil fuel energy sources such as coal, which still looks likely to provide its baseline energy needs and secure its energy intensive future. It is also clear that until renewable energy becomes a cost effective replacement of fossil fuels, renewables will just remain as supplements. China’s continued GDP growth is heavily dependent on infrastructure projects, which are heavily reliant on iron, steel and coal fired power stations all of which bodes well for Australian exports, Alston said.
The solar energy and wind markets in China are growing in international competitiveness but there are still concerns about a potential oversupply said Paul Curnow, Partner and Head, Asia Pacific Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Focus Group, Baker & McKenzie.
Paul Curnow explained how policy and the regulatory framework drive the renewable energy market in China, noting the “government can’t manage global demand, but can manage the domestic regulatory framework” to increase energy consumption requirements from sectors such as solar to avoid a bubble.
“China will reshape the global wind energy industry and will be at the epicentre of the wind energy market,” said Dominique La Fontaine, Vice-President, Communications and External Affairs, Suzlon Energy Australia Pty.Ltd.
Growth in the wind energy market in China over the past decade has been phenomenal, increasing from 346 MW in 2000 to 42.3 GW in 2010 and the prediction is for 200 GW in 2020 La Fontaine said.
In sharing Suzlon’s story, she discussed the manufacturing of wind turbines in China and the wind farms it operates in China and Australia. Suzlon group is the second largest foreign manufacturer in China with a manufacturing in Tianjin and twelve wind farm projects in execution on the ground in China.
ACBC Victoria thanks all speakers for sharing their expertise, James Gathercole for chairing and Baker & McKenzie for hosting the event. Dominique La Fontaine concluded the session by wishing participants a “Happy Global Wind Day” and presenting them with a small wind turbine gift.