In the second quarter of 2012, China was the main contributor to a 24 percent increase in new global investment in the clean energy market largely due to hundreds of millions of dollars in financing of new wind and solar projects.
According to Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg News Energy Finance, China has had the biggest market for wind turbines for several years and recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations.
With a 92 percent surge in investment to $18.3 billion from the first to second quarters, the International Energy Agency has predicted that China will top Europe as the fastest growing market for clean energy this year.
China’s government announced in May that it will spend a total of $27 billion in 2012 to boost clean energy investment, funding $15 billion in energy conservation, emissions reduction, and renewable energy development.
Projects such as the 250-megawatt (MW) Guodian Shanxi Qinyuan Taiyue Wind Farm — which cost $317 million — and the Shanlu & Shengyu Bayannur Wuyuan PV plant — financed with $316 million — globally represented some of the largest projects financed in the second quarter.
In comparison, the U.S. showed an 18 percent increase in the second quarter. To compete with China, the U.S. should renew key tax credits such as the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the 1603 Treasury Grant Program for wind production and for the installation of clean energy projects to expand the national clean energy market.
Think of all of the American jobs that could be created with clean energy investments as robust as China’s. To get there we have to start with the PTC and 1603 tax credits. By doing so, Congress will be taking key steps towards helping the U.S. clean energy market boom, bringing good jobs, a green economy, and a cleaner environment to the nation.