China's Clean Energy Investment Puts America to Shame

In the U.S., when the topic of clean energy comes up, we like to debate concepts like climate change or global warming, turning it into a political debate more than a strategic one. Subsidies to industries such as wind or solar, no matter how small, take criticism from politicians and the media while the government continues to subsidizes oil, gas, coal, and nuclear production to the tune of billions of dollars each year. We neglect to account for externalities such as the cost of war ships keeping the Suez Canal open when Iran threatens to close it, oil spills inland and offshore, the wars in Iraq, and the limited liability given to the operators' nuclear plants. If Fukishima happened here, it would be no problem for U.S. companies -- Uncle Sam would pick up the tab.

In China, the energy debate is very different. When China sees its imports of coal rising and dependence on foreign oil growing, it springs into action. Not by screaming, "Drill, baby, drill," but by investing billions of dollars in home-grown energy sources. Yes, I'm talking about clean, renewable energy, and China's investment in these energy sources make U.S. subsidies look like the half-hearted effort they are.

Building a homegrown industry
China has put tens (maybe hundreds) of billions of dollars into building a renewable manufacturing industry, and it started long before the U.S. even noticed the emergence of wind and solar power. Sinovel Wind Group was founded in 2005 and quickly became the third largest wind turbine manufacturer behind Vestas and General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) . It has plans to surpass these companies within the next two years and is fueled by funding from Chinese state-owned banks. Goldwind, Guodian, and Ming Yang have also sprouted up in China, pushing European and American companies out of the wind market.  

In solar, Chinese dominance is even more alarming. In 2008, Q.Cells, Sharp Electronics, and First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) were the top three solar manufacturers, followed by China's Suntech Power in fourth place. Today, Q.Cells has been through bankruptcy and is owned by South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, Sharp is in financial trouble, and China is home to the top nine solar producers, according to the Renewables 2012 Global Status Report. Again, top producers Suntech, Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE  ) , Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL  ) , LDK Solar (NASDAQOTH: LDKSY  ) , and dozens of others have used cheap, easy money from Chinese state-run banks to bankrupt the rest of the world's solar industry and claim it as its own.  

Where the U.S. saw risk in clean energy manufacturing (see Solyndra), China saw opportunity.

Putting their money where the future is
Unlike the U.S., China also has a national goal when it comes to solar power, the fastest-growing renewable energy source. It plans to install 40 GW of solar by 2015, 30% more than what was installed globally in 2012. To put that number into some context, solar installations in the U.S. grew 76% last year and still reached only 3.3 GW. We would have to nearly double solar installations annually to reach 40 GW in installations over the next three years.

When you put these figures into dollars, China's green energy dominance is even more staggering. Keep in mind that the U.S. economy is more than twice as big as China's  when you read the following data from a report released by Pew Charitable Trusts and Bloomberg New Energy Finance earlier this week.

  • China invested $65 billion into wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources in 2012, 20% growth from 2011. The U.S. invested $35.6 billion, down 37% from a year earlier. As a percentage of the economy, China's investment in clean energy is nearly four times as large as that of the United States.  
  • Worldwide, clean energy investments fell by 11% in 2012 to $269 billion while investments in Asia grew 16% to $101 billion.  
  • China accounted for 30% of all clean energy investment by G-20 countries in 2012.

There are a few reasons China is so gung-ho about green energy right now. Chinese officials see wind and solar as emerging industries they can dominate with a large investment early in the business cycle. Considering the number of bankruptcies in solar over the past two years and the almost unanimous blame management puts on China, the strategy is working.

There's also an environmental aspect to China's pursuit of clean energy. This view of Shanghai covered in smog is an increasingly common occurrence over large parts of China:

Source: Wikimedia. 

Earlier this year, Beijing residents were told to stay inside as smog covered the city, and the U.S. Embassy said pollution monitors had air quality at hazardous levels in 19 of 25 days. China has fueled much of its economic growth with coal, and the rapid growth of the middle class has congested the country with gas-burning vehicles. Clean energy can offset some of those pollutants.  

Dominating the future of energy
There are a fleeting few U.S. companies that can now stake claim to a significant piece of the clean energy future. First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR  ) appear to be winners in the solar industry, and they've even turned to China as a potential customer for their products. But they still have to fight off fierce competition from China. General Electric is using its sheer size to stay afloat in wind power and is still investing in solar. The sad truth is that most of the other large manufacturers in wind and solar have fallen by the wayside.

China has made a concerted effort to dominate the future of clean energy, and by the look of it, China is winning. Until the U.S. decides that renewable energy is a necessary part of our economic future and creates the policy and infrastructure necessary for it to thrive, China will continue to outspend us. To me, that's a shame.

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  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 3:57 PM, yaovk wrote:

    The US cannot do anything about advancing herself because the big oil corporations and others will not allow us to go green.The Republicans want to give our corporations free reign and let the market ride unregulated without government interference even if it is for the good for our country. While this free market policy is sound but, unfortunately, it is not free and is rigged to the benefits of big money.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 3:58 PM, JA8 wrote:

    Maybe they put the US to shame, maybe they don't. I have lived in China and the amount of pollution they put out is astronomical. Everyone burns raw coal for cooking and heat and have for many, many years. They have been ahead of the US on greenhouse gasses for many more years than acknowledged. They have NO choice but to get stricter or die. Not that the US doesn't need to change, they do but come on, China is for the most part, totally polluted from ground water, ground to the air.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:05 PM, Jim85035 wrote:

    Are you serious. China puts out more pollution than the Rest of the World combined. China is the worst of the worst!

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:05 PM, Petronilus wrote:

    Already you see lots of houses with solar water heating on the roof and plenty of electric scooters. Many Chinese companies are aggressively focused on green energy now. I wouldn't be surprised that what will define the Chinese car industry on a global scale will be some consumer priced zero emission car lineup from BYD or others.

    Chinese people or anyone visiting there don't discuss if the environment is a mess. They see it every day and know things need to be done.

    Here in the USA most people don't care much while there is an absurd debate about if global warming is real and if actions are needed.

    In 10 years from now leading companies in energy supply and transportation will be Chinese, if we don't change our attitude dramatically.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:14 PM, age911 wrote:

    I can see in the Picture of Shanghai they are doing real well in the Pollution Department.

    I quess it shouldn't be but another Week and they should be able to "SEE" atliest 4 Feet in front of them.

    That's without a Flashlight that is for Crying out Loud.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:22 PM, jcahlquist wrote:

    In 1999 while stationed at mcas iwakuni, japan nasa was there collecting high altitude pollution tests. After taking to some of the scientists basically what they said was a significant portion of "our" pollution was actually chinas being caught in the jet stream and being trapped against sierra mountain range and then against the rocky mountains. Secondly, my step dad was a solydra engineer involved in the bidding contracts which involved the epa regulations and facility codes. The chinese companies that were interested in manufacturing in the states laugh at him when they saw the cost of manufacturing the panels in the states. Their cost was around 35cent/watt our was $2.45/watt

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:27 PM, rand49er wrote:

    Have you seen the air in China? Yes, it's horrible. Have you seen the air in the U.S.? No ... I rest my case, because you CAN'T see the air in the U.S.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:30 PM, StockgeniusII wrote:

    China has not much oil! So they have to go to solar! Coal plants because of economics cannot be justified to fit clean air technology. Plus, the government's way to increase employment in government back companies.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:39 PM, tigerade wrote:

    America is held hostage by fossil fuels. Nothing will change until we stand up to them. They are pouring vast amounts of money into climate change denial (which of course Conservatives believe the propaganda). They also have powerful political lobbying and campaign donations to keep fossil-fuel friendly congressman and senators in place. That's why there hasn't been a climate bill. You need to realize this otherwise the environment will lose and so will you.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:56 PM, jagdwolfen wrote:

    Iran to close the Suez Canal??? Are you kidding me? The Suez Canal is in Egypt. Not even close to the Persian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is the waterway Iran threatens. How can you take this author seriously, when he doesn't even understand the basics of world energy?

    Travis Hoium, next time you write an article, try researching your facts. The name "Motley Fool" appears to be appropriate.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:02 PM, HappyClient wrote:

    This article is pure BS. It claims that China "plans" to have 40GB of solar installed by the end of 2015, while saying that is double what the U.S, will install if the U.S. continues at the same rate as last year. First of all the U.S. installs are REAL - not government plans. Governments announce and claimlots of things in the future like Obama's shrinking deficit and lower unemployment. Notice the article didn't compare ACTUAL solar and wind energy production for the 2012 or 2009 or any other time, for the two countries. China brings a new coal powered electric plant on-line every week, and those plants are dirtier than U.S. coal plants of the 1920's. This article was a bogus propaganda piece against conventional energy sources; in an attempt to secure more funding for hypothetical future sources..

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:07 PM, Ms2Walsh wrote:

    When China, stops being the worlds largest producer of lead/cadmium poisoned products only then may they attempt to claim any sort of environment friendly points. Just a few years ago they allowed "fake" baby formula on their market that caused several infants many problems including death so lets spare our round of applause.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:08 PM, Veteranasm wrote:

    Yea, and pigs will fly tomorrow !! What a crock of crap , they are building coal fired power plants as fast as they can.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:23 PM, Chishiki wrote:

    Nuclear energy could be considered clean and renewable energy if they used liquid fluoride thorium reactor.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:25 PM, DannyGos wrote:

    Hey Travis Hoium, are you serious man? The US has had some of the strictest emission laws for a very long time. Vehicle manufacturers make a "49 state" model and a "California" model that meets emission standards.

    China has the dirtiest air in the world and the largest population, they better invest in "green energy" just so they can breath and stay alive.

    The US has invested in green energy, remember Solyndra? Those companies are just not surviving for what ever reason.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:30 PM, gettingfat wrote:

    People keep mentioning the pollution in China. They conveniently forget they are talking about a country with 1.4 billion people which produces half of the manufactured goods for the world. In other words most of us are comfortably wearing a made in China T-shirt, sitting in a made in China chair typing with a made in China keyboard accusing the Chinese how much damages they've been inflicting to the Earth.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:37 PM, MadeInAsia wrote:

    Buy American made products, u create more factory "jobs" and or jobs in general but pollute the U.S. Buy products overseas, u pollute that country and lose jobs in the U.S.

    In major U.S. cities, the industrial era, the pollution during the 40-60s after WW2 was alot worse than it is in China right now. Factory jobs were booming, air quality wasn't regulated until the EPA was established.

    The U.S. and big oil companies are banking a sh*t load $$$$ off oil and gas prices ever since 9/11.....as long as they are, why the hell would they turn to green energy? which is expensive to maintain and yields almost zero profits....Talk is cheap, actions will speak louder than words any day. Lets see what China does because the U.S. is too busy banking off gasoline and giving us the finger when it comings to green energy.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:57 PM, Wtafel wrote:

    It is kind of sad that we listen to how bad our pollution is in the US. When will the EPA spit out the FACTS of how our pollution levels have gone down dramatically. Over the years from 1980 to present. Show me the figures. how are we doing with Ethanol

    Gas. It has been a complete failure with the government subsidizing the programs. almost all have gone bankrupt. how did the Chinese do. I believe in new ideas and encourage them to be funded by university's that see the potential. don't waste money on government programs that don't work.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:58 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    "Subsidies to industries such as wind or solar, no matter how small, take criticism from politicians and the media while the government continues to subsidizes oil, gas, coal, and nuclear production to the tune of billions of dollars each year. We neglect to account for externalities such as the cost of war ships keeping the Suez Canal open when Iran threatens to close it, oil spills inland and offshore, the wars in Iraq, and the limited liability given to the operators' nuclear plants. If Fukishima happened here, it would be no problem for U.S. companies -- Uncle Sam would pick up the tab."

    The Republican party is firmly within the grip of oil/coal cartel. Just look at President Bush and Vice-president Cheney and you can see who is really in charge of it. Why start a war with Iraq when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? If Iraq did not have any oil, would the US have invaded it? American are short sighted and only care about the price of gasoline yesterday with almost no concern about the cost in American blood and trillions of dollars wasted. The Chinese did not waste trillions on a war with Iraq. Instead they are making sure that they will have their country will be free from the tyranny of oil and coal.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:04 PM, tommy1954 wrote:

    clean energy they say,what are they going to do?make bicycle's built for 2000X5000 turning 800million kilowatt generator,id like to see that.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:10 PM, RobertLB1 wrote:

    US DOE is controlled by the fossil fuel industry to a point where all energy investment is in areas that will do nothing to change the status quo. As proof of this, I requested a grant to mass produce my electric generator (Power Station), and my request was flatly turned down by the DOE. DOE rejected it because they stated that it would not work because it defies Laws of Thermodynamics and it's perpetual motion. It took me some time to complete my Power Station (PS) on a shoe string budget, but my most advanced prototype is finished and working. Right now, my PS is turned off and its not connected up to a battery. It's producing electric energy even though its not even turned on. When it is drained of all energy to where my voltmeter reads 0.00 it re-charges its self in less than a minute. My current experiments involve trying to increase and somehow store and make use of this electric energy. If that electric energy can be stored and used, my next experiments will involve attaching a battery and actually turning on my PS. If the DOE refused to supply a grant for new technology that will replace fossil fuels within 25 years, we can be assured that our government has no interest in solving our energy problems. The only ones who reject change is our fossil fuel industry.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:15 PM, Wtafel wrote:

    We need to keep in mind that we had 2 wars with Iraq. The 1st was because of the invasion of Kuwait.

    remember the Democratic Party was against the first invasion but supported the second one. I guess they got that one backwards

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:19 PM, Wtafel wrote:

    Contribute large dollars to the party in power who runs the dept of energy and presto you have a government grant !!

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:19 PM, jondaly wrote:

    oh, yeah, they're putting us to shame. that's why so many people -- all over the world -- are desperately trying to emigrate to china. so free. so prosperous. and so GREEN!

    China has limited natural resources. very little oil or natural gas. and not enough coal for a 1.3 billion people. so yeah, they're trying to diversify.

    however, it's still THE MOST HIGHLY POLLUTED COUNTRY in the world with VERY WEAK environmental regulations.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:22 PM, jondaly wrote:

    the democratic party is in controlled by the Green industry (and yes, it's an industry) and they are feverishly trying to kill the one technology that has actually reduced green house emissions -- in a big way -- in this country: fracking.

    why no mention of fracking here? the u.s. has cut greenhouse emission SUBSTANTIALLY over the last decade. i guess it isn't PC to mention a technology that actually works.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:32 PM, seameant wrote:

    I didn't see where the author mentioned if these companies are profitable or if they still need to be propped up by the taxes of profit making companies. If you confiscate enough money, you can make any venture seem worthwhile, until you run out of other peoples money.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:35 PM, AKretired wrote:

    China has many more problems than screwing the rest of the world with green technology.

    An article the other day stated that the up and coming middle class in China would rather buy a foreign made car (yes even a U.S. one) than anything made by a Chinese manufacturer.

    Look at the infrastructure problems with rapid development throughout the country. Their codes for safety is only considered if there is a tragedy that makes corruption come to light.

    To point out the growth of green technology here, just look at the EPA regs. California manufacturers for solar panels face. The toxic wastes created in solar panels can not be handled within the state. They have to ship these toxins to a processing plant in another state. That drives up the costs of production. Does China have such restrictions and an EPA that demands the proper disposal of toxic waste?

    Another point with the love of electric cars. The amount of carbon and other waste needed to produce a single electric car would add thousands to the price if these cars were not subsidized by the government.

    Yep, China maybe screwing the world with their green revolution. But you can bet there will be a different kind of revolution in China if they don't solve the other major problems facing their country first.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:39 PM, cablegjuy223 wrote:

    UH..................So what " Green Energy " has worked in the US,

    Solar ? Nope

    Electric cars Nope

    Wind Nope

    Everything Dum Dum ( Obama ) has invested our money in has failed

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:42 PM, nobody1000 wrote:

    Or we could win the race.

    There is a much more direct way the Fed could create jobs using QE3. All the Fed has to say is six little words, “The Fed will buy PACE Bonds”.

    Property Assessed Clean Energy bonds are the exact same financial vehicle used to pay for schools, sewer upgrades and are paid back through property taxes.

    http://www.pacenow.org

    This would jump start the economy by putting an estimated 3 million construction workers back the job, retro-fitting homes or ten permanent ones per million. Lower our trade deficit. And the Fed could even charge the homeowner only 3% interest and return the profit to the Treasury to reduce the public debt. And then burn the principal.

    The Fed can buy back corporate bonds and mortgage backed securities held by banks or other financial institutions. Due to the Savings and Loan crises of the 1990s. And PACE bonds are mortgage backed securities. Ideally then the state would create a state bank and funnel the PACE bonds through it.

    But the Fed buying them would eliminate the problem with F&F, investors and the first lien position. Because the Fed owns a trillion of F&F securities anyway, the Fed will make money either way. And the Fed purchasing $40 billion a month is the perfect vehicle to provide a controlled boost to the economy. And could easily be withdrawn once the economy recovers.

    What’s more, when a house is underwater long-term investments in them are put on hold. This would eliminate the need to wait for housing prices to recover before investments are made. In CA the average increase in property value of a house with a PV system is $17k.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:44 PM, SSMaugham wrote:

    Mr. Houim either doesn’t know his subject, or isn’t interested in learning it. “China has put tens (maybe hundreds) of billions…”—come on! And where is there mention of China’s ‘investment’ in conventional energy—e.g., the fact that they’ve opened at least one new coal fired plant a week for years? Or disclosure of the fact that their communist-run infrastructure has inherent, startling inefficiencies—even 60 Minutes did a story on the hundreds of billions in city dwellings (and even cities themselves) that sit completely vacant because they were put up by bureaucrats instead of the free market. Sure they have cheap and plentiful solar plants—but do you wonder how many hundreds of billions they put into it (did you ever consider checking on that, Mr. Hoium?) Our government’s—read, Mr. Obama’s—naïve and wasteful efforts to mimic them by picking “winners” to give our hard earned tax dollars out to mostly losers (who for the most part happened to be campaign contributors) has ended in one bankruptcy after another. It’s been shameful, yet Mr. Hoium would have you believe we should do more! Of the companies he cites, First Solar took almost two-thirds of a billion in taxpayer funding, began giving executives huge raises while laying off more than 2000 workers. And Sun Power!!! They got 1.2 billion of our money, though swamped with fraud lawsuits by shareholders and almost a billion in debt. Houim considers them both “winners”. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:46 PM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    So that Transfer of Wealth called Going Gloable is not working out to well ? What did you think would happen when you tansfer that much wealth to other countries in such a short time span ? Oh it is a transfer the GDP is not counted here anymore ! And the Dollar and Sebt is based of a % of GDP .

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 6:49 PM, factsdomatter wrote:

    wow the lemmings (left-wing loons) are in full force

    today. still no clue about what the facts are, except the republicans are bad.where did the money we

    (usa taxpayer) gave solylendra go?? no peep from

    the left wing lemmings. why is the GREEN biz not

    making anyone money???? anyone?? because it is still not ready for prime time. its why the chevy volt is $40,000 (with a hugh tax break). it is just not ready...yet. the writing is on the wall for big OIL. so why dont we (left-wing loons and right wing

    bluejays) drill baby drill and lower the cost of oil/gas right now! what that will do is free up alot of

    money for companys to invest in so-called GREEN energy. this will provide millions of jobs, provide billions in new TAX money lower the overall cost of everything. sadly the left-wing loons dont care about any of that...7.9% unemployment rate is just kool for these clowns. No, they (left-wing loons) dont want that, even though they would help lower our debt/deficet. would free up money for all there entitlement programs. no they dont want that. they are lemmings and are in love with the new GOD obama. facts do matter,just not to the left. notice how they say "believe" when it comes to global warming. They cant provide one shread of proof this is real, not one thing. should be easy if it is as they say. shameful hypocrites.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 7:07 PM, anonymouth wrote:

    not a very informative or balanced view of china's policies, imho: no mention of how much of china's investment is to produce domestic solar technology, and how much is intended to flood foreign markets. no mention of the other forms of environmental pollution(like the thousands of pig and chicken carcasses dumped into rivers a couple of weeks ago). and the only mention of us energy subsidies was that relating to alternate energy, but nothing of the billions given to the petrochemical industry for the continued production of fossil fuels, even as they embrace and invest in alternate fuels w/the aim of continuing to dominate global energy markets.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 8:27 PM, cieara wrote:

    US are about to be the biggest energy rich country in our lifetime due to the current oil drilling technologies. With so much energy, even the natural gas has to take a back seat in the energy consumption in our economy. China is a planning addict, they saw something making sense, and they simply go for it. They don't have much oil resources; the wind, solar and ocean waves are their options.

    Aren't you glad that we have something much cheaper and accessible in energy that China?

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 9:17 PM, snipe1949 wrote:

    China is going to build 50 coal fired power plants in the next 20 years so stop the green bull sheet.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 9:41 PM, crossle27 wrote:

    The USA, as in obuma and his crooked regime, waste billions on their green energy scam, and almost all of it goes to people who they either know personally or from those they have recieved large campaign donations. Apparently this clueless writer does not know that, or more likely chooses not to admit it.

    Solyndra, Fisker and dozens of other failures continue to be subsidized while we leave the oil we badly need in the ground! Drill, lower our fuel cost by 30 + % and use some of the profit to find alternatives fuel sources that actually work. You can't run a truck or a train with wind or solar, so stop this madness and get real about it!

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 10:06 PM, hyphoon1020 wrote:

    Give me a break. The cleanest air in China is more polluted than New Jersey during a nuclear meltdown.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 12:31 AM, notaliberal1 wrote:

    China hasn't invested in energy, so they have about 100 years of investing to catch up to the USA!

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 1:13 AM, iggy452001 wrote:

    One thing this article forgot to mention was the ongoing lawsuit between GE and China. GE came to China under the pretense that it'd be given 40% of the market share for a specific region. Upon opening their factories and training their employees, they were given 0% market shares, and not allowed to sell in China. Further more they were asked to leave, yet leave behind all their equipment, factories, and trained employees, which then became a Chinese based company. This is legal in China due to a thing called Indigenous Innovation. A law that allows any Chinese businessman to illegally steal any technology or innovation from outside of the country, bring it home and mass produce it. Huawei had a very big issue with this when trying to sell cellphones overseas.

    Take in the mass amounts of pollution that are here in China and yeah, you have two choices, clean up or die. In Zhejiang there was a businessman who challenged the governor to swim in the creak near his house, which is located in a Cancer Village. If you don't know, look it up. The man was then beaten for posting this online. The soil pollution numbers are not being released since they are way above lethal levels, and that feeds the nation. The money spent for clean energy should also be used as a population percentage, so the amount of land and population vrs the amount of money spent. China is much larger than the US, has a larger number of people, and the amount of available revenue through taxation is quite a bit higher. So they would be able to spend more, but it would not be more as an average.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 2:14 AM, BillyBonka wrote:

    Does anybody remember the Pollution of the Great Lakes? Remember the LA Smog! Where did it all go??? We have been going green for the past 40-50 years. Look at the pictures of China's air and rivers. They are worse than we ever were. We are way way way ahead of them in the race to green up. Solar Power is great for sunny days. Bring the cost down!! Wind is a huge waste and ecological eye pollution. Package nuclear plants are working great in Europe but the Obama NRC won't issue permits. Natural gas is a clean and abundant alternative and stop gap until solar or fusion or some other new technology can come into play. But not if it will cost an arm and a leg.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2013, at 2:50 AM, DragonSlayer975 wrote:

    Another article in praise of China's supposed championing of green technology by someone who clearly is not looking at the full picture. Sure, it's easy to look at the amount of money that China is pouring into places like solar and wind power, but those numbers don't tell the complete story.

    For one thing, the vast majority of China's wind/solar capacity isn't connected to the country's grid at all because the government hasn't provided subsidies to beef up transmission systems. Meanwhile, the State Grid Corporation is a creaking dinosaur that could really care less about efficiency and investing in expensive new infrastructure when it already has a monopoly on the power transmission sector and state planners call the shots when it comes to retail energy pricing. This problem has existed for years but no one has ever come forward to pony up the serious amount of cash which would be needed to turn renewable capacity into actual energy for end-market consumers.

    Second of all, most of China's new energy are doing horribly financially and posted big losses last year. Many are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy due to overinvestment and could soon be leaving investors empty handed. Companies like Suntech and Sinovel and others plunged into the renewable market because they wanted to get their hands on government stimulus money that was being passed out to keep GDP growth chugging along in China in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. Not only that, but the government was more than willing to support the rise of its clean tech sector so that steel producer could offload their mounting inventorieis in a new market. But now that the free ride is over, solar/wind companies just can't cope because the demand was simply was not there. In the end, what China got was several hundred large- and medium-scale equipment makers in a market that maybe could support less than a dozen.

    Making matters worse, Beijing's financial support has led to many of China's renenwable energy companies being locked out of key Western markets for unfair trade practices.

    China's push to create a renewable energy sector began years before the country's staggering pollution problems became international news. So where are the benefits? China's much lauded investment in clean energy is little more than a PR move designed to brush up China's dirty reputation and drum up investment. Don't be fooled!

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The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

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