Press Release

China to Dominate Private Investment in Clean Power Over Next Decade


China will remain the top destination for clean power project investment over the next decade, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. With its enhanced clean energy policies, China could attract as much as $620 billion by 2020, far and away the most of any G-20 member. China's surging clean energy sector will help shift the center of gravity for renewable energy investment from the West to the East over the next 10 years.

Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity examined projected private investment in wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects. The underlying data for this report were compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the world's leading provider of news, data and analysis on clean energy and carbon market finance and investment. The report modeled three policy scenarios to determine future growth through 2020: Business-as-usual: no change from current policies; Copenhagen: policies to implement the pledges made at the 2009 international climate negotiations in Copenhagen and; Enhanced clean energy: maximized policies designed to stimulate increased investment and capacity additions.

“The message of this report is clear: countries that want to maximize private investments, spurjob creation, invigorate manufacturing and seize export opportunities should strengthen their clean energy policies,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Climate and Energy program. “China became the world leader in clean energy investments in 2009, and our report shows that the nation will continue to race ahead. China's broad, ambitious clean energy policies will attract substantial global investment and foster the deployment of large amounts of renewable energy sources as the country seeks to meet the simultaneous demand for additional energy and environmental protection.”

The report found that the clean energy sector continues to be an immense economic opportunity. By strengthening their clean energy policies, G-20 members have the potential to gain an additional $546 billion in clean power project investments compared to Business-as-usual. Under the Enhanced clean energy scenario, the projected $2.3 trillion investment in clean power projects over the next decade would be equivalent to adding the entire GDP of the United Kingdom to the global economy. Over that same time span, total renewable energy capacity additions in the G-20 could reach 1,180 gigawatts, almost four times the amount of renewable energy capacity that exists today.

“Strong and consistent policies in Asia have helped double private investment over the past two years. Asia is now the leading region for clean energy investment, and its lead is set to extend in the near future unless Europe and the US make a step change in their support for the sector,” said Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In China, cumulative investment in clean power projects is projected to be:

  • Business-as-usual: $471 billion by 2020
  • Copenhagen: $497 billion by 2020
  • Enhanced clean energy: $620 billion by 2020

Other key findings about China include:

  • Over the next 10 years, China could attract $149 billion of additional clean energy asset investments under the enhanced scenario compared to business-as-usual.
  • Under the enhanced scenario, $620 billion in private clean power investment would leverage 375 GW of generating capacity, more than seven times the amount that exists in China today.

Read the entire report, including other key findings, country profiles and video here.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

Associated Report: Global Clean Power A 2.3 Trillion Opportunity.pdf 

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