Feb 8, 2010

The biggest manufacturer of green technology in the world

By all accounts, China has become the largest manufacturer of green technology in the world. According to a recent article in the New York Times,

  • China is now the largest maker of wind turbines; Vestas of Denmark has just built the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturing complex in Northeastern China;
  • It is the world's largest manufacturer of solar panels;
  • It is building the most efficient types of coal power plants;
  • Renewable energy industries employed 1.12 million people in 2008, and climbing by 100,000 year;
  • China is aiming for wind and solar and biomass energy to represent 8% of its electricity generation capacity by 2020;
  • It is the world's largest market for power equipment, and the government has committed $45 billion in 2009 to upgrade the electricity grid. Domestic demand for electricity is growing at 15% a year.

China's competitive advantages include interest rates as low as 2% for bank loans, and low labor costs.

The Wall Street Journal also points to the very aggressive efforts by China to develop an electric car.

  • BYD Auto Co. recently showcased in all electric car that the Chinese company intends to sell in the US by the second half of 2010. BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, is backed by a $230 million investment by Warren Buffett, for a 9.9% stake in the company (i.e. for a total capitalization of $2.3 billion).
  • In 2009 BYD sold 450,000 electric vehicles in China, an increase of 160% over 2008 figures.

That's big!

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