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China

Introduction

BY PROMOTING THESE STRATEGIC EMERGING INDUSTRIES, WE WILL ACCELERATE THE STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATION OF OUR ECONOMY AND SOCIETY… AND BUILD AN INNOVATIVE NATION.

– Hu Jintao, President, People’s Republic of China

China's plans on clean technology respond to a complex set of strategic, social and financial drivers. The Strategic Emerging Industry plan, a key element of China’s current 12th Five Year Plan, seeks to improve the nation’s competitiveness, energy security and rate of social development. Setting bold targets and seeking continuous improvement have been key traits of China’s success to date in developing clean technologies.

This case study draws on research commissioned by HSBC bank and published in Low Carbon Growth – A Guide to China’s 12th Five Year Plan.

China’s 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) makes it clear that the Government sees clear economic opportunities in reducing energy use and carbon emissions. A key component of the plan is the development of seven ‘strategic emerging industries’ (SEIs) signaling China’s intention to balance its growth with ‘social harmony’ and ‘environmental sustainability’. Four of the seven SEIs are closely tied to clean technologies. This sets an international precedent in tying a nation’s future economic growth to the growth of the clean technology sector. Furthermore, the plan sets long-term growth goals and engages a wide range of industrial sectors and provincial and city governments.

China has impressed the world with the speed and scale with which it can deliver low-cost, clean technology to the world. In the last five years, it has installed the world’s largest wind-power capacity, become the world’s leading manufacturer of solar panels and begun to develop markets for electric vehicles (EVs) and LED lighting. The detailed SEI plans, expected imminently at the time of writing, are highly likely to establish the long-term policy support investors and companies are seeking to bring clean technology to scale globally.

China’s commitment to being the leading global manufacturer and implementer of clean technology is bringing large economic benefits to China’s clean technology companies. By 2009, China had developed from a non-player to the world leader in creating economic value from clean technology. In 2010, $51 billion of the global $234 billion invested in new clean energy projects was deployed in China.

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