BEIJING -- Much has been written about China's huge investment in alternative energy sources. China spends twice as much as the U.S. on clean energy, and critics of U.S. energy policy have claimed that Beijing is "steaming ahead" in the field. Beneath the headline figures, however, a more complex picture emerges, in which China is struggling to translate capital investment into tangible benefits.
To begin with, it is worth noting that the reason for China's superior spending on alternative energy is that its energy needs are far more acute than those of the U.S. and other major economies. China is already facing energy shortfalls and experiencing rapid environmental degradation, with both trends set to accelerate in the coming decade. While rising oil prices and greater awareness of green issues will inevitably shift the U.S. toward cleaner energy, China needs new energy sources immediately if it is to maintain rapid economic growth. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $18 monthly or $118/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Japan Deepens Ties With Central Asia, but Still Trails Russia, China
- Strategic Horizons: U.S. Must Rethink Unsustainable Counterterrorism Strategy
- The Realist Prism: U.S. Watches From Sidelines as Global Leaders Gather in Brazil
- World Citizen: As U.S. Pivot Stalls, Developments in East Asia Speed Ahead
- Global Insights: For Afghanistan Election, After Kerry Deal Comes the Hard Part