In the U.S., utilities and energy stockshave struggled and crude-oil futures have dipped as court battles over the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium play out in the wake of the BP disaster and Washington continues to debate the future of energy sources in America.
Meanwhile China, the world’s second-largest energy user, is stillinvesting heavily in fossil fuels, which met 87% of its energy needs in2008, according to the International Energy Agency.
Imports of coal, which fires two-thirds of its electricitygeneration, more than tripled in the first quarter of this year, as theChinese economy showed signs of recovery from the downturn.
It’s no secret that China is aggressively pursuing conventionalenergy sources to meet growing demand—its State Electricity RegulatoryCommission said this week that power use in China may increase as muchas 63% between 2009 and 2015.
But the country is also pouring large amounts of money into clean energy. According to a recentreport by Ernst & Young, China has joined the U.S. as the mostattractive place to invest in renewables after pumping US$34.6 billioninto green projects last year, double the amount invested in the United States.
The Chinese government has said it will aim to slash carbon emissions per unit of GDP up to 45% of 2005 levels by the year 2020 to reducegreenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming. China is also planning to subsidize the manufacture of fuel-efficient electric motors andpower generators.
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