(Yicai Global) April 6 -- China is one of the world's most generous investors in green energy and has become a superpower in the renewable energy world.
US President Donald Trump, by contrast, has pledged to actively develop fossil fuels and slash clean energy subsidies, thus ensuring China willovertake America as the world's leader in the 21st century energy sector.
John Mathews, professor of strategic management at the Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, in Sidney, Australia, predicted this development during his keynote speech dubbed'Global Green Shift: China as Driver'at the EAI Distinguished Public Lecture series organized by East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore on Tuesday, as Singapore newspaper Lianhe Zaobao reported.
China has significantly reduced coal consumption in recent years and promotes the use of and investment in green energy such as wind power, hydropower and solar energy, said the professor, a veteran researcher in green and industrial development strategies.
Wind power generation in China has doubled every two to three years, making the country the largest wind-power generator in the world today, he elaborated, adding that China's total installed wind power generating capacity has reached 496 gigawatts, higher than that of the US, Germany and India combined.
Furthermore, China has outranked the European Union in terms of per capita investment in clean energy since 2010, reshaping the landscapes of the global renewable energy market. The world's second-largest economy invested 2.5 times as much as the EU did in 2015, statistics show.
Mathews forecast that, as President Trump has promised to promote the development of fossil fuels and revive the coal industry, China will ultimately replace the US as the world's leader in the energy sector.
The professor also opined that China has increased inputs in the industry as a reactive strategic decision, and"environmental protection is perhaps the least important factor in the decision--after all, global pollution was mainly caused by Europe and the US from the long-term perspective." What matters the most to China, he argues, is to ensure successful national industrialization as a means of boosting economic growth and incomes.
Energy security is another important factor. Reliance on external resources is a main worry for Chinese policymakers, as it renders China more susceptible to geopolitical influences. If China keeps increasing energy imports following the Western models of industrial development, it will risk provoking more conflicts with other countries.
China has opted for renewable energy, breaking through the bottleneck posed by traditional energy by recycling natural resources through its own manufacturing industry."China actually has no alternatives. From the geopolitical point of view, it must find a new development path and establish its own energy system,"Mathews noted.