ImaginingChina as a giant green frog seems a little ridiculous, but, as PeterFord of the Christian Science Monitor reported last week in a pieceentitled "China’s Green Leap Forward," China’s intent to "leapfrog" the United States in the clean energy race is far from ridiculous – it may soon be a reality.
While the U.S. languidly inches forward in clean energy RD&D,China’s burgeoning clean and renewable energy industries are growing atan unprecedented pace for a developing nation. Much more than aresponse to the suffocating pollution clogging the airways of its majorcities, the explosion of clean energy technology is part of a nationalstrategy to dominate the industry. As Ford succinctly puts it:
"China price" and "China speed" are poised to snatch thelion’s share of the next multitrillion-dollar global industry – energytechnology… Indeed, China is pushing ahead on renewable technologieswith the fervor of a new space race.
Indeed, China is approaching clean energy with a "space race"mind-set, however, the U.S. has yet to adopt the same sense of urgency.As Americans wait for a Senate decision on the significantly weakenedAmerican Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which will investjust $1 billion per year in clean energy R&D and $10 billion for clean energy investments broadly defined, China has already implemented a suite of clean energy policies beginning with the Renewable Energy Law of 2005.
By supporting the growing wind sector with subsidies, tariffs, andan obligatory renewable energy requirement for power companies, Chinanow expects wind manufacturing to grow from 8GW in 2007 to between 12GWand 20GW by 2010. In comparison, the U.S. manufactured just 2.4 GW ofwind turbines in 2007 despite having the largest wind market in theworld.