Study shows Chinese investment in renewable energy increases under Belt and Road Initiative

Author: pv magazine, Published on: 1 August 2019

"Chinese investment in renewables soars under Belt & Road initiative", 30 July 2019

A study published… by environmental charity Greenpeace found China’s Belt & Road Initiative has led an investment surge in energy infrastructure in the regions covered by the plan – particularly south and Southeast Asia – over the past five years. According to the NGO, Chinese equity investment in solar, wind and coal power projects in south and Southeast Asia rose 1,370% during 2014-2019, compared to the previous five years.

The Greenpeace study shows 12,622 MW of wind and solar power generation capacity along the Belt & Road route was supported by Chinese equity investment, alongside 67.9 GW of coal capacity. Some 93% of the wind and solar investment – and 94% of the coal projects – went to south and Southeast Asia.

“Solar now presents a serious rebuttal to any pattern of Chinese overseas pro-coal bias,” said Liu Junyan, a Beijing-based climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia. “Chinese investors’ ratio of coal to solar is now the same at home and abroad – both are still six-to-one coal, unfortunately, but I’m amazed to see what five years of equity investment in solar made possible.”

Of the 12.6 GW of renewables capacity to be funded by Chinese investment, 1.7 GW has already been installed – 1.2 GW of it solar. For PV, that represents a 280% increase in capacity funded through equity investment. At the end of last year, a further 10.8 GW project pipeline in Belt & Road countries had received equity investment from Chinese companies. The largest single recipient of Belt & Road related investment was Pakistan, where equity investments from China accounted for 36.8% of the country’s new wind capacity from 2014 to 2018…

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