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Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Pew report: China leading in clean energy spending


China has taken the lead in investment in clean energy, spending nearly twice as much as the US did last year, as it promotes projects in both renewable and traditional energy, a report said yesterday.

China’s investment in clean energy rose to US$34.6 billion last year, out of US$162 billion invested globally, according to the report by the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts. US spending ranked second at US$18.6 billion, with European nations also recording strong growth.

“Countries are jockeying for leadership. They know that investing in clean energy can renew manufacturing bases, and create export opportunities, jobs and businesses,” said Phyllis Cuttino, who directs the Pew Environment Group’s Global Warming Campaign.

The report comes as China is clinching a slew of energy and resource-related deals designed to help guarantee access to commodities needed to keep its fast-growing economy booming.

On Wednesday, China’s offshore oil and gas company CNOOC (中國海洋石油) agreed to buy 3.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year, for 20 years, from an Australian energy project operated by BG Group PLC.

Just days before, CNOOC announced plans for a US$3.1 billion joint-venture with Bridas Energy Holdings Ltd, a major Argentine energy firm.

On Tuesday, Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it plans to explore for natural gas with China National Petroleum Corp (中國石油天然氣) in China’s Sichuan Province. That followed news that Arrow Energy Ltd, an owner of gas assets in Australia, had accepted a joint takeover bid from Shell and PetroChina (中石油) worth US$3.15 billion.

Over the weekend, China signed 15 deals with Russia worth US$1.6 billion.

The US still leads the world in installed renewable energy, with 52.2 gigawatts of wind, small hydroelectric, biomass and waste generating capacity, the Pew report said.

But China is quickly closing the gap. A doubling in wind energy capacity alone boosted its own installed renewable energy capacity to 49.7 gigawatts last year. Germany trails with 30.9 gigawatts, the report said.

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