China’s burgeoning renewables exports bask in South African sunshine, while emissions initiatives remain stuck in global mud bath.
China has been shrewd in developing renewables. It has created new manufacturing industries at home and abroad and with a vast output comes price competitiveness. As solar panels become cheaper to the point of ‘grid parity’ – where a kilowatt-hour of solar power is the same as electricity generated from gas – China is able to penetrate developed economies too. All this has been achieved without a global agreement on emissions and yet China emerges from a classic, energy intensive and polluted industrialisation as the global green energy giant.
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