Like previous growing industrial powers in the west, China has relied upon fossil fuels for its rapid development and industrialization. However, China has keenly positioned itself as a renewable energy superpower, taking the lead and increasing the speed of green development.
Although still heavily driven by fossil-fuels, China’s industrialization strategy holds a “Green” development plan, driven by a renewable and circular economy. The renewable energy sector in China has been growing at a furious pace recent years, while simultaneously diminishing the dependence on fossil fuels in the country. As of today, China is the world’s biggest producer of renewable energy, with almost twice the generated output compared to the United States which holds the second place. The chart below reveals how China has ramped up its production of green energy over the last 30 years. The “Green Strategy” is clearly under development, increasing from roughly 17% of the country’s total generated energy to almost 30% in the last decade alone – an enormous change for such a huge nation.
As we know, the environmental benefits of a greener energy production are huge, but China’s transformation is also beneficial in regard to geopolitical limits. A typical industrialisation strategy, based on fossil fuels and plunder of natural resources, would result in a shortage of resources since it relies upon virgin materials. Going in that direction, China would face entanglements in oil and resource wars with other nations around the world, which clearly are a non-favourable development.
As the United States battles to maintain its supremacy of fossil fuelled industries, China is forging ahead to dismantle its coal, oil and gas dependence by building strong renewable and resource recirculation industries. But when looking at the scale of China’s industrialisation, there are truly no other alternatives to a “Green Strategy”. The leadership adoption follows the typical “no-nonsense” approach of China’s government, setting the determination and ambition of the strategy high. As China adopts this green shift, it does not only benefit themselves, but also makes such a strategy more accessible to other industrialising countries around the globe, meaning that the high-scale shift driven by China might also initiate a global shift.
As a conclusion, we see that China genuinely aims towards a greener energy consumption, setting the goals and ambitions high at a governmental level. As the United States falls behind on shifting to renewable resources, China has taken the position as the global leader of producing green energy and leading the way for other nations to follow.