Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Leading Clean Energy Nation in Terms of Both Investment and Installed Capacity

Many nations are moving boldly forward with clean energy investments and installations, but there is one nation that has shown unparalleled leadership for the last several years. The clean energy global investment total for 2013 is about $254 billion and one nation is responsible for more than one fifth of this amount. This nation is leading renewable energy investments and dominating solar and wind installations. They installed more solar and wind capacity in 2013 than any other nation on Earth.

The most recent data gives China the distinction of being the world's clean energy leader. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ latest report titled "Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?," China made more investments and deployed more clean energy than any other country in the world in 2013. They invested a whopping total of $54.2 billion and installed 191 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity. Despite a strong year the US came in second with 138 GW of installed capacity.

According to Bloomberg China installed between 12 and 14 GW of photovoltaic (PV) projects in 2013. This is a global record beat out its nearest competitor by one third and more than tripled US totals. China's installed PV capacity for 2013 beat out Germany's record of 7.6 GW which was set in 2012. The US installed about 4.2 GW of PV capacity in 2013.

Chinese firms now dominate the global solar market. Three firms in particular are leading the world, they are China Power Investment Corp., China Three Gorges and China Huadian Corp.

This prodigious solar growth shows no signs of letting up in 2014. The Chinese government plans to add an additional 14 GW of PV capacity this year more than half of which will come from rooftop installations connected to the distribution grid.

When it comes to wind power China is also a dominant player. China has been the world’s biggest wind power market for years. In 2012, the nation increased its wind production by 41 percent. In 2013, China led the world by installing more than 16 GW of wind power last year. This is exponentially more than the number two and three spots for installed wind capacity in 2013. Germany installed 3.2 GW in 2013 and the UK installed 1.8 GW last year.  In fact China's totals for 2013 are considerably more than the combined totals for the rest of the top ten nations in the world (16 GW vs. 12. GW)

China's total installed wind capacity is now at 91.4 GW. The next closest competitors are the US with a total installed capacity of 61 GW, followed by Germany with 34 GW.

Due to the government's ongoing commitment to wind, China will remain a world leader. They have raised the official wind target for 2020 to 200GW.

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