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China Earth Power

China Leads in "Clean" Energy Investment 313

derekmead writes "According to a new study (PDF) from Pew Charitable Trusts, China was the world leader in clean energy investment in 2012. The U.S., meanwhile, saw its grip loosen on many of the clean energy technologies it developed. According to the research, total clean energy investment totaled $269 billion worldwide last year, a decline from 2011's record high of $302 billion. However, clean energy investment in the Asia and Oceania markets grew by 16 percent to $101 billion. In terms of investment — which is an indicator that a country or region has offered compelling projects, struck a good regulatory balance, and has a strong economy — that makes Asia the epicenter of the global clean energy market. The Pew researchers thus labeled the U.S. clean energy sector as 'underperforming,' largely for a trio of reasons. First, China's boom and manufacturing prowess has taken investment away from the U.S.. Second, the U.S. regulatory environment for clean energy is horrifically unstable (as is the regulatory environment as a whole) as politicians battle over budget rhetoric. Finally, the U.S. has failed to capitalize on its innovation prowess and develop its clean energy manufacturing sector to its full potential." They do not count nuclear as clean, but including nuclear would only widen China's lead over everyone else (they almost have their first new AP1000 ready and are building lots more).
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China Leads in "Clean" Energy Investment

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  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:20AM (#43522697)

    America is a corporate-driven economy, which needs results this quarter and the next. Any strategy that last for longer than 5 years is just not worth the investment.
    China is still partially a plan-driven economy, which does not need to have a result this quarter or the next. Pay back times can be longer.

    It is incredibly painful to an economy to move away from short term gains to longer term. At first, you only pay, and nothing comes back yet. But after a couple of years, you start to gain from this. Nobody in the USA seems willing to take that first step.

  • China's energy needs -- in terms of year-over-year growth -- dwarf those of any other country. Their regulatory processes, for projects that the state deems necessary, can be incredibly streamlined. AND they've got money to spend. It's no surprise they're the hotspot for all kinds of energy investment -- clean and otherwise.
  • by crutchy ( 1949900 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:58AM (#43522813)

    "when you're hanging on by your fingernails you can't go waving your arms around" - virgil brigman

  • by thephydes ( 727739 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:02AM (#43522827)
    WTF What gives you the right to complain about China if you live in USA or EU . Christ you've been fucking up the planet for decades - no centuries, and now you have the gall to complain about China. Where was all the work you did to avoid it? Oh yes that's right into the pockets of "Global Corporations" global rapists more like......... Geez I though I'd heard it all!
  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:42AM (#43522963)

    Whilst it might not be surprising to you or me, many people argue that there's not worth being more green as a nation because the Chinese won't follow. When in actual fact the boot is on the other foot. China is leading and America is lagging behind.

    And why would it be that it's not a "black eye" for the US? It's hardly the case that they are not spending money on creating ever more energy sources. It's just that not enough of them are green.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @05:16AM (#43523057)

    As an Aussie and an environmentalist, I consider coal to be evil and think that the less of that dirty black/brown crap we dig out of the ground the better. Plenty of ways to generate electricity (even baseload electricity) without using coal if people are willing to put in the investment.
    I do not believe the government should be giving a single cent in money to the coal industry or to coal fired power stations (the exception being if the money is to be used to decommission said power stations)

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @06:01AM (#43523207) Journal

    China is over-polluted right now

    The air, the land, the water, all polluted

    They have no other choice but to go clean

    It is good that they go clean --- in that way at least they get to stay in China, or else, they might move to USA

    Can you imagine 1.3 Billion Chinese moving to the US of A?

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @06:49AM (#43523327) Journal

    Two points:
    1) command economies are good at big stuff. Has anyone ever said otherwise?
    2) Perhaps the main reason that clean energy isn't taking off in the US is because (at least for the moment) it's still largely a capitalistic society, and 'clean' energy is an entirely contrived, laterally-motivated concept (ie not driven by customer demand, but by tangential forces like a 'desire' for a clean environment contrived by the eco-lobby) whose existence relies almost entirely on government subsidy, regulatory 'sticks', and accounting sleight-of-hand?

    Face it, as much as eco-nuts 'demand' we be cleaner, and legislators 'believe' we should be cleaner, Joe Public *generally* is uninterested in paying 2x the price for power if it comes from 'clean' sources. Maybe if Joe lived in 1870 London where everything was covered in soot, or something, he'd be motivated to change his habits. But the fact is, the environment in the USA hasn't reached the sort of obtrusive levels of pollution like Love Canal or the burning Hudson River that DID spark such motivations a generation ago.

    Without motivation, consumers aren't typically really good at making 'commons' choices, because they're too consumed with affording things NOW to really be concerned about incremental impacts 20-50-100 years from now. No matter how much they're preached to.

  • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <> on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @07:21AM (#43523431) Journal

    That's right. China's per capita coal consumption is far less than typical Westerners, so until the Chinese have wrecked the environment at least as much as you have, for at least as long as you have, and a good deal worse and longer for good measure, then you need to shut your stupid fat face.

    You know that is illogical, right? Just because someone has done something wrong doesn't mean that they can't point out, complain, or attempt to stop another from doing the same thing. Even if they're still doing that same thing themselves it makes it no less wrong. It is hypocritical but the act is still wrong regardless of the source or history of the accuser.

    What is sad is that you're not the only one who presumes such. I'd hope that more people could think logically but most of my hopes seem to expect too much of people.

  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @08:38AM (#43523777)


    - being liberal (ie. having an open mind)


    I attended a very "liberal" liberal arts college for a while. Yes, they certainly are a bastion of tolerance and open mindedness ... until you say or write something with which they disagree. Then, they want to burn you alive on the campus green for your heresy. The radical feminist dean of students would be there to light the match.

    Exaggerating a bit, but the backlash for expressing unpopular opinions was so harsh that I felt pressured to guard my words to avoid it. You wouldn't believe the verbal thrashing I got for saying that "She said / he said" type sexual assault cases would naturally favor the defendant given that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. "Attitudes such as mine are what perpetuates the cycle of violence against women, etc. etc.". Most intolerant bastards I've ever encountered. Drove me away and led me to embrace libertarianism with open arms.

  • by Dodgy G33za ( 1669772 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:15AM (#43524045)

    I doubt that a minimum wage worker would lose 33% in taxes - if they do you have one of the highest taxing countries in the world my friend. Here in Australia you have to reach about $100k to get taxed at that level. A minimum wage earner on around $600 a week pays less than 10% tax.

    And bear in mind our minimum wage is $15.90 for a 20 year old. I think yours is something south of $8 dollars. AND our dollar is worth more than yours.

  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:44AM (#43524215)

    led me to embrace libertarianism with open arms

    Libertarians are a thoughtful and open minded bunch. They divide the world into them and statists. Since I think Medicare is a good thing, there's apparently not much difference between me and Trotsky.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:04AM (#43524387) Homepage
    Try this one: "Whenever liberals talk about tolerance, they are never talking about themselves." It's remarkably consistent. Just look at the recent outbreaks of spittle-flecked hatred towards conservatives and the statement makes a lot of sense.
  • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:29AM (#43524671)

    And if your taxes dropped to zero, then your salary could be dropped by 30% and management could get a big bonus for increasing share-holder value.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford