High growth, both by population and economical have fuelled China’s power demand. The effects, are as pictured, a nation now suffering the effects of growth at all costs. However, there is a solution, investing in renewable technology globally, aggressively.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trust, in 2012 there was a global investment in clean energy of $269 billion. While that was a decrease from the previous year’s total of $302 billion, investment in clean energy by Asia was $101 billion. China’s proportion of investment totalled $65.1 billion. Of that $31.2 billion was invested into solar power, while the other $27.2 billion was invested in wind power.
The Three Gorges Dam is the largest Hydroelectric Dam constructed. Fully operational as of July 2012, it has an installed capacity of 25,000 megawatts and each turbine has a capacity of 700 megawatts. The total cost is $26billion! In the last few weeks China officially took the top spot as the number one investor in clean technology.
The effects have now filtered into the UK. Beijing has been hungry to find the right partner for nuclear power. Last week it was announced CGNP (China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group) could become the replacement investor in EDF’s Hinkley Point now that Centrica has pulled out. Barriers to entry have mainly been in the form of sharing UK nuclear capabilities which are closely linked with the armed forces.
Whether China is successful or not in becoming a partner in UK nuclear operations remains to be seen. Regardless, its foresight into domestic energy security should be commended. The UK has initiated the Large Combustion Plant Directive, but, what is the plan to replace our lost power supply?