China Leads Global Trade in Renewable Energy Products

The U.S. is debating whether to allow the XL Keystone pipeline to be built. Canada is arguing over how to ship oil sands crude, with or without the XL pipeline. The EC is debating energy supply after disruptions in Russian natural gas delivery and is reviewing renewables regulations after sharp increases in utility bills. While the developed countries tie themselves in policy knots, China has taken the lead in renewable energy products in global trade, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Program. China, along with other developing countries, has accounted for over one-third of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions in 2013. It exported $869 million worth of PV cells and modules to African countries between 2009 and 2013. Renewable energy technology now represents one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and China is cashing in. Shouldn’t the developed markets be capitalizing on this growth, too?

John Howell, Editorial Director