China is the second in the world when it comes to renewable energy, according to a report put together by the German global firm Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Other key players such as Denmark or Germany show up in the forefront, but the US only made it to the 17th place.
The report took into account 38 states and based itself on sources like the International Energy Agency or other energy associations, investor presentations and similar reports. The criteria were how much companies gained from producing biofuel, wind turbines and thermal equipment, as well as energy efficiency technology (low-energy lighting and insulation).
What researchers found was not astonishing. As the #1, Denmark continues to be an anchor in the wind industry, making 3.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) from the technology and efficiency of green energy. That is 6.5 billion Euros ($9.4 billion) a year.
The US is a promising “player,” especially with the support from the Obama government. Figures show a constant increase of 28% per year since 2008, making up for 0.3% of GDP: 31.5 billion Euros or $45 billion.
Now there’s a different story with China: their government realized that this is the way to the future, both environmentally and financially speaking. They have understood that they can also make money by helping save the planet, until you don’t know anymore about which they care most. So they set themselves to mass produce solar cells and wind turbines, for both export and internal needs. This policy has rewarded China with more than 44 billion Euros a year – $64 billion – representing 1.4% of its GDP.
What makes China’s story a more successful than the US’ is how fast they perceived change and acted accordingly: “While we debate climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy, the debate is passed in China,” says Donald Pols, a WWF economist. They realized the potential of the industry and started investing, manufacturing and exporting. Along the same line of thought, we meet Germany, Brazil and Lithuania and hopefully the competition will flare up some more in the next years.