Will Trump’s Exit from Paris Accord Open a Door for China's Clean Energy Industry?

On June 1st, the U.S. president Donald Trump decided to pull out from Paris Accord, while China vowed to push forward. Will China take the lead role in climate change in the future? A question mark remains in people’s mind.

Though ranked 75th for the carbon dioxide emission per capita, China is still the biggest contributor for total Carbon Dioxide emission in the recent 5 years. 

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(Source: DataYes RoboR Research Platform)

However, China's energy structure has changed over the past few years. Except a slight growth in natural gas output, China’s fossil energy output including raw coal and crude oil were decreasing. In contrast, the renewable energy generation that accounts for 21.05% of total generation keeps increasing. With a growth of 58.8% in solar power, 5.6% in hydroelectric and 27.6% in wind power, China now ranked as Top 1 in installed capacity of these three kinds of renewable energy generation.

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(Source: DataYes RoboR Research PlatformChina Environmental Bulletin)

In the last 5 years, China’s renewable energy consumption has grown 179.5% from 136.16 MTOE (million tons of oil equivalent) to 380.61 MTOE. China now accounts for 20.5% of the global renewable energy consumption, which increased 7.6% from 2012.

Renewable Energy Consumption.PNG

(Source: DataYes RoboR Research Platform)

You may doubt if this growth will keep going after 10 years or 20 years. According to BP Energy Outlook 2017, China’s energy mix continues to evolve with coal’s dominance declining from 64% in 2015 to 42% in 2035 and natural gas nearly doubling to 11%; oil’s share rises slightly from 18% to 20%. Most of the reduced share of coal consumption will be replaced by clean energy such as nuclear and hydroelectric. China will be the largest source of renewable energy growth over the next 20 years, adding more renewable power than the EU and the US combined.

(Source: BP Energy Outlook 2017 - BP Global

With the expectation of energy structure optimization and 40%-45% decrease of carbon dioxide emissions to GDP ratio, China still has room to improve. China has invested 102.9 billion dollars in new energy in 2016, which accounts for 1/3 of the total investment all over the world.