Go East: China Clean Tech a $555B Opportunity

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 9/07/2008 12:38:00 PM
I was reading the China Daily on a flight bound for China when I spotted an interesting article on how American firms are keen on selling green technologies to the Middle Kingdom. In fact, US companies recently went on a roadshow to sell such technologies in China. Truly, it should be a win-win situation from my POV: America needs to leverage areas where it still has a competitive advantage to narrow its trade deficit such as green technologies. Meanwhile, PRC officialdom has, in its declarations at least, emphasized the need to transition to a cleaner economy. The famous statistic that China has 16 out of 20 of the world's most polluted cities certainly draws attention to this matter. The trade mission of green technology-selling US firms is part of the Strategic Economic Dialogue which has transpired between these two countries since 2006:

The nation will spend a total of 2 trillion yuan ($293 billion) to ensure that renewable energy accounts for 15 percent of its total energy use in 2020, compared with less than 10 percent at the moment. The government said earlier that it would spend 1.4 trillion yuan from 2006 to 2010 on environmental protection.

According to the US government, the clean technology market in China will amount to $186 billion in 2010 and $555 billion in 2020. The Chinese government's policies, such as targets for renewable energy use and the newly passed circular economy law, will create new business opportunities for US firms, said (US Assistant Trade Secretary David) Bohigian.

China passed its circular economy law on Aug 29, which is aimed at boosting sustainable development through energy saving and the reduction of harmful emissions. When the law comes into force on Jan 1, industrial enterprises will be required to adopt water-saving technologies, strengthen management, and install water-saving equipment in new buildings and projects.

The new law will boost the development of China's clean technology sector, something that overseas clean technology companies hope to cash in on. Bohigain said US companies with clean coal and carbon capture technologies are better positioned to succeed in China, as the nation currently uses highly polluting fuel to satisfy around 70 percent of its energy needs. Meanwhile, renewable energies such as solar and wind power also have great market potential in the nation.

A total of 19 companies ranging from startups to industrial giants such as GE Energy were on the mission, the third of its kind since 2007. After their stop in Beijing, the mission will also visit provinces including Guangdong and Shandong. This is the first time environmental protection technology firms have taken part in the mission led by Bohigian, which used to be comprised mainly of renewable energy companies.