A Take on China's Comprehensive Approach to Developing a Clean Energy Economy - Remarks at RETECH 2010
Last week, at the Renewable Energy Technology Conference & Exhibition (RETECH 2010) in Washington D.C., I gave a presentation on the comprehensive approach of China’s clean energy policies across the clean energy value chain–from innovation to manufacturing to deployment/exports. I argued that China has created a long-term, sustaining strategy to develop its clean energy economy through a three-pillar framework of (1) developing markets through demand creation, (2) financing of research, development and deployment, and (3) building physical and economic infrastructure. These are lessons for any other country to envy. This three-pillar approach is something that my colleagues at the Center for American Progress have developed. But for all its supposed success, coal still accounts for an overwhelming majority–almost 70 percent–of China’s primary energy, so to say China has reached the promised land of the low-carbon economy would be a stretch. To get to the promised land, I argue that at least two more pillars are needed–information transparency, and international collaboration. I managed to get my hands on a a full video recording of my 15 minute shtick in full, and am thus over-delivering on my promise in my last blog post to put up merely an outline of my remarks:
This speech in fact serves as a preview of an upcoming report by my colleagues and I that takes this three pillar approach to analyze the clean energy policies of Read the full story
Earlier this week I appeared on Minnesota Public Radio with Georgetown University’s Joanna Lewis for 45 minutes of conversation on how China is taking the clean energy challenge by its neck and running with it. Here’s the full audio to the discussion:
The show was clearly motivated by the recent New York Times front page story by Keith Bradsher on the same topic, and to a lesser extent, the series of op-eds by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman (see here, here and here). But really, this has been the story of this blog for the two over years of its existence. China is serious about green technologies, but more importantly, as I point out in my interview, what distinguishes China from the United States is its long-term planning, with the Medium and Long Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy, with national targets for each renewable energy technology type for 2010 and 2020, being a case-in-point. Such national targets send clear signals to the market that the government is committed to this new low-carbon industry for the long haul, thus stimulating private and provincial investment.
This discussion dove tails nicely with Read the full story
Updated Feb 9
The “new energy super ministry” announced last week is neither new, nor a super ministry. Let’s discuss.
First, the raw facts.
On January 22, the State Council announced the formation of the National Energy Commission, whose purpose would be to:
To study and formulate national energy development strategy, to consider the major issues of energy security and energy development, to coordinate domestic energy development and important matters of international cooperation. (“负责研究拟订国家能源发展战略，审议能源安全和能源发展中的重大问题，统筹协调国内能源开发和能源国际合作的重大事项。”)
The NEC consists of 23 members made up of:
Director: Premier Wen Jiabao
Vice-Director: Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council
You Quan, Deputy Secretary-General of the State Council
Zhu Zhixin, Director of the Central Finance Office
Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Zhang Ping, Director of National Development and Reform Commission
Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology
Li Yizhong, Minister of Industrial and Information Technology
Geng Huichang, Minister of Security
Xie Xuren, Minister of FinanceXu Shaoshi , Minister of Land and Resources
Zhou Shengxian, Minister of Environmental Protection
Li Shenglin, Minister of Transport Minister
Chen Lei, Minister of Water Resources Minister
Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce
Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China
Li Rongrong, Director of SASAC
Xiao Jie, Secretary of the State Administration of Taxation
Luo Lin, Secretary of the Safety Supervision Bureau
Liu Mingkang, Chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission
Wang Xudong, Chairman of State Electricity Regulatory Commission
Zhang Qinsheng, Deputy Chief of General Staff
Zhang Guobao, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Director of the National Energy Administration (NEA).
While Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Li Keqiang are titular leaders of the NEC, Zhang Ping, Director of the NDRC, will be in charge of the day-to-day management of the NEC, with Zhang Guobao, Zhang Ping’s deputy at the NDRC and director of the NEA, second-in-charge.
Now, let’s really discuss.
Is the NEC new? When I fist saw the announcement, I had to Read the full story