The same trend is more pronounced in developing countries: China's investment fell by 32% to $ 78.3 billion, breaking The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported on April 6 that investment in clean energy fell by 23% in 2016 over the previous year. the 11-year upward trend. Does this mean that investment in renewable energy will enter a phase of deceleration? Will this have a negative impact on the rising trend of world's renewable energy seen in recent years?
The recent temporary declines in renewable investments in China have occurred from structural supply demand gaps, industrial over capacity and poor global competitiveness. As I have highlighted my first book "Successful Business Dealings and Management with China Giants" it is very important for energy and renewable companies in China and globally, to clearly assess their market size and demands. They should also develop robust strategies prior to making major investments in energy and renewable sectors as these are major long term investments. Renewable and energy projects require robust market demands and world -class competitiveness to have sustainable business successs.
Looking ahead, the China Government National Energy Agency NEA has announced that China is planning to invest 2.5 trillion yuan or over U $ 360 billion into China's renewable sector in their plans. They also announced that China, which is now the world's largest energy market, will continues to shift away from coal power generation towards cleaner fuels and renewable power generation. They also expect that these clean energy investments in China will help to create more than 13 million new jobs in China. They expected that the total installed renewable power generation capacity in China, compromising of wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power together, would be contributing to about half of the new electricity generation capacities in China by 2020-2030.
The China National Development and Reform Commission said that solar power would receive some 1 trillion yuan or over U $ 140 billion of new investment. China is planning to increase its solar power capacity by 5 times. This is estimated to be equivalent to about 1,000 major Another 500 billion yuan or U $ 70 billion of new investments are planned to go into new new hydro power stations across China. New investments by China into new tidal and geothermal power generations are also planned in future.
New Vehicle Market in China
Summit Blogs: Although signals from the Chinese government have indicated intentions to promote the domestic new energy vehicle market, the market itself is still closed. From the long-term aspect would would foreign car manufacturers successfully break and integrate into the Chinese new energy car market ?
Wang: In my second book titled, "Energy Markets in Emerging Economies: Strategies for Growth" I have also highlighted that the PR China Government is supporting their emerging domestic electric car industries and has extended the China New Energy Vehicle Program to 2020. In June 2012 China first issued their plans to support the domestic energy-saving and new energy vehicle industries. Their plan had set a sales target of 500,000 new energy vehicles by 2015 which would then rose to 5 million by 2020. In September 2013, the Central Government introduced a New Energy Car Subsidy Scheme which provided a maximum subsidy of US $ 9,800 towards the purchase of a new electric passenger vehicle in China and up to US $ 81,600 for a new electric bus in China.
The Chinese Government's support for New Energy Vehicles helps to create a new world-class new energy car industry that would help to create new jobs and exports. In addition, the new electric cars would also help to reduce China's oil consumption and improve its energy security It will also help to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in China.
China has has the world's largest fleet of light duty plug-in electric vehicles. China has also overtaken both USA and Europe in the cumulative sales of electric vehicles. In 2015, China was the world's largest plug-in electric car market, with a record annual sales of more than 207,000 plug-in electric passenger cars which represented over 34% of global sales. China has also become the world's largest electric bus market with over 173,000 plug-in electric buses. By 2020, China is expected to account for more than 50% of the global electric bus market.
In 2016, the China new energy car company, BYD Auto, overtook both Mitsubishi Motors and Tesla Motors to become the world's second largest plug-in electric passenger car manufacturer, after Renault-Nissan.
Looking ahead, the Chinese new energy and electric car manufacturers have to compete with other electric car manufacturers in both the
domestic market and international markets. Cause it is very important that they continue to innovate with new products and manage their cost of productions at globally competitive levels.
New Chinese Nuclear Power Technology
Summit Blog: In January this year, the British authority officially approved the review on the general design on the establishment of China's nuclear reactor, "Hualong One." Based on fact that the United Kingdom has the world's most stringent regulation on nuclear power, if the "Hualong One" are successfully approved of the general design review, does this mean that the Chinese nuclear power technology is likely to gain access to an important realm on the global energy market? How will this affect the UK energy market?
Wang: When Imperial College London invited me to speak recently, their MSc students in nuclear engineering also asked about the Chinese nuclear reactor developments. The China General Nuclear Power Corporation CGN, a China State Own Enterprise, has just agreed to send the designs of their Hualong One nuclear reactors to UK regulators for their approval. It is expected that the UK review will take some five years to complete. The UK regulator must first and clear the CGN nuclear reactor designs before construction can begin on the two planned new Hualong One nuclear reactors, each with output capacity of 1.15 gigawatts, at the proposed Bradwell B project in southern England.
These new CGN nuclear reactors are part of a bigger nuclear deal by UK with Electricite de France SA and CGN. The deal would also include two other major nuclear reactor projects in UK, ie Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C.
The submission of the CGN nuclear reactor designs for UK review is a significant step forward as it is generally recognized globally that the UK has one of the most rigorous nuclear power technology review systems internationally. this would support CGN to export the Hualong One design to other overseas markets.
Looking ahead, it is very important to recognize that nuclear power generation globally also compete with other clean energy and renewable power generations on safety, reliability and cost competitive based. Experts have showed that wind power generation have recently made significant technological advances and achieved big cost reductions. Renewable experts estimated that onshore wind power generation would not seriously challenge nuclear power generation in future.
Summit Blog: What U.K. policies or systems are worth referencing in China in terms of environment protection, pollution management (especially air pollution) and the promotion of sustainable development?
Wang: When Kings College London invited me to speak recently, I highlighted three interesting areas for UK China co-operations. These include new low carbon city designs, new smart materials research and new green financing.
Firstly on new low carbon city designs, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate in their recent report forecasted that more than two billion extra people were expected to move into different cities globally in the coming decades. New low carbon, liveable cities could be built with careful planning and investments. British's Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) experts have been discussing with China city mayors and urban designers new potential city and urban designs plus low-carbon buildings and good public transport. These international exchanges and co-operations should help China's major cities to ease their severe traffic jams plus help to pollution and carbon emissions.
Secondly on new smart materials research, UK and China have been cooperating on new researches particularly on Graphene. Graphene is seen by many researchers as one of the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. They expect that it could revolutionize aircraft and car designs plus create new battery and new material applications. Graphene was first isolated from graphite mineral at the University of Manchester by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov in 2004. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010. China has included Graphene as a strategically important new material in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). A new five-year research program between China's Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials (BIAM) and the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester has been established, after the visit by PRC President Xi Jinping to NGI. The key objectives of the joint research are to develop new Graphene based polymers which can be used in new ai rcraft, high speed trains and vehicles to make them both lighter in weight and more robust in performance.
Thirdly there should be domestic market and international markets. Cause it is very important that they continue to innovate with new products and manage their cost of productions at globally competitive levels.
Prospects of the Paris Agreement
Summit Blog: As the Trump Administration came to power, it has brought uncertainties to environmental policies in the United States-the possibility of withdrawing itself from the Paris Agreement is a matter of great concern. As the world's second largest carbon emitter, if the United States stays out of the Paris Agreement, will this waver the determination and input to implement energy reform and low-carbon economic development from
rest of the world?
Wang: When the Chinese University of Hong Kong invited me to speak recently, they also asked me about the implications of President Trump's recent new executive order on climate change. The new executive order planned to nullify President Obama's climate change plans, the Clean Power Plan However, there is currently many oppositions to the executive order inside and outside the USA. Many opponents have said they will be launching legal challenges against the executive order in various US courts and it is by no means clean what would be the potential outcomes.
The largest shift in US climate policy contained in the new executive order is that President Trump directed the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA to review and rewrite the Clean Power Plan, which was the key climate change policy of President Obama. The Clean Power Plan sought to Previous coalition and independent studies have estimated that it would help save over 1 billion tons of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030. The US EPA have also estimated that the plan would provide more than USD 55 billion in public health benefits per year by 2030 with reducing pollution.
Legal experts have advised that it would take years for the US EPA to undertake the process of withdrawing and revising the climate change regulations. In addition, it is expected that there would be many legal challenges in US courts. A coalition of US states, including New York and California, has agreed to work together to challenge President Trump. A good example is that the US Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York said that are preparing to challenge President Trump's effort to eliminate the regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, as such a move would violate the US Clean Air Act.
The second most important change in the executive order is on US environmental reporting but this would have less immediate implications. President Trump decreed that US federal agencies would no longer have to account for climate change when reporting on the environmental impacts of any proposed actions or projects As part of this change, Trump directed US government agencies to revise their estimated "social cost of carbon." This is an actuarial estimate of the societal damage wrought by every additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and is used to estimate when Currently the US government's social cost of carbon is priced at about $ 37 per ton but this is likely to be significantly reduced with the change making climate change proposals less attractive in US on paper.
The new executive order does not mention the United States should remain in the Paris Agreement, ie the international climate change pact ratified in 2015. It is reported that the White House is split on this issue and President Trump could not yet decide whether to formally withdraw from the Paris agreement or not.
About the Author
• Twitter: @ hpcn8888
Henry KH Wang is an international adviser, author & speaker with extensive high level business experience globally. He is President of Gate International Ltd, a Hong Kong based boutique advisory and investment firm. He is also directors of various companies and advising leads companies and international agencies globally. He lectures frequently at leading universities and business schools globally plus are contributing to their researches on SOE management.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts FRSA and Fellow of Institute of Chemical Engineering. He has been invited to join the UK Climate Change Advisory Committee and China Carbon Forum Advisory Board. He was Vice Chairman of OECD Business Energy & Environment Committee. He was former Vice Presidents of both the EU & British Chamber of Commerce of China. He is a former director of both Shell China and SABIC in Riyadh. He has supported directorships and board roles in public companies and State Owned Enterprises globally.
His first book "Successful Business Dealings & Management with China Oil, Gas & Chemical Giants" was published in 2013 & recommended by leading institutes. His second book on "Energy Markets in Emerging Economies: Strategies for Growth "was published in 2016 and he has been invited to speak about it at leading institutes globally. His negotiation management paper was selected as one of the Top Five UK Management Papers of the Year 2015 and he has been commissioned by a leading publisher to write a new book on business negotiations for publication in 2017. He also holds international patents on new process inventions.
He has been invited to speak at key international conferences and interviewed by international media. Leading universities & business schools worldwide have also invited him to speak and lecture. He is a graduate of Imperial College London and University College London. He has also undertaken advanced management courses at Wharton and Tsinghua.