China Leading World in Clean Energy?

It appears that the Chinese Government has been putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to showing it’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and cleaning up the environment. The country has made bold claims that it will reduce power sector carbon emissions by an astounding 60% when the year 2020 rolls around. Have they made progress? The answer is yes and tons of it.

How Far Have They Come?

In 2015, China became the world’s largest solar power generator with a total of 43 gigawatts installed. A significant factor to note is that the total amount of generation installed grew from 2014 to 2015 by an astounding 40%. This growth makes China the largest total installed solar capacity in the world. The next closest country is Germany with a total of 40 gigawatts up 3% from 2014 to 2015. Furthermore, the China National Energy Administration plans on adding 15% more capacity in 2016 in efforts to reach a total of 150 gigawatts within the next five years. The rapid growth of the country’s renewable energy investments is impressing and unrivaled.

Investing in Other Renewable Energy Technologies

China is focused on taking advantage of all of its natural resources available and that includes its abundant wind opportunities. The country has silently become the worlds largest wind power installer with the next nearest country lagging significantly behind. China has installed a total wind power generation capacity of 32.5 gigawatts. To put that figure into perspective, 1 gigawatt powers approximately 700,000 homes (32.5 x 700,000 = 22,750,000 homes). China has plans to install continue installing mind-boggling amounts of wind power capacity to help it reach its goals.


China has made the conscious decision to adapt to the harsh reality that, in order to live in a healthy and sustainable environment, it must make significant financial investments. These investments will not only change the environment but will also change the national economy. Once known as the country with the worst pollution and carbon emissions, China has shocked the world and made an about face on how it plans to operate and grow its economy. The rest of the world should take notice and follow the leader.

Casey Hunnicutt

MBA Candidate 2016