Clean Energy Transition becomes the new engine of economic growth ——Energy Foundation holds Clean Energy Economy Transition Forum in Beijing

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published Jun 08, 2017 01:50 PM, last modified Jun 08, 2017 02:01 PM
On June 6th – 8th, the Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) and the Second Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-2), hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology was held in China National Conference Center. On June 6th, Energy Foundation, with the approval of the Ministry of Science and Technology, successfully organized the side event —— Clean Energy Economy Transition Forum.  High-level government officials from both China and the United States, senior representatives of international agencies such as the International Energy Agency(IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), well-known economists and energy experts at home and abroad, as well as entrepreneurs gathered to have in-depth discussions on topics of "green growth", "green employment, "green finance" and "innovation to ensure sustained prosperity", so as to reach extensive international consensus on the institutional construction, economic and technical approaches to jointly promote the clean energy economy transition.
The energy consumption structure, dominated by fossil energy, has brought environmental pollution, climate change and other serious challenges. The global energy structure transition has become a top priority. Adjustment to clean energy has made a trend. Per the statistics and projection of IEA, renewable energy resources accounted for more than half of the world’s new electricity capacity in 2015, overtaking coal in terms of installed power capacity. IEA projected that global renewable electricity capacity will increase by 42 percent, or 825 gigawatts, between 2015 and 2021. Till 2040, lower-carbon fuels and technologies mainly brought by renewable energy will meet nearly half of all new energy demand. 
Eric Heitz, CEO of Energy Foundation, said that,” The world is under a new wave of revolution, and the global economy seeks for new development engines. Promote the energy revolution and clean energy transition, is the only way to the sustainable development of global economy, society and environment. As the largest developing country and major economy, China's clean energy economy transition plays a significant role in promoting the sustainability and green economy of the world.”
In China, the trend of clean low-carbon energy as the main source of energy supply is taking shape. China's energy structure shows a trend of low-carbon, and the total energy consumption growth rate recedes significantly. As of the end of 2016, China's wind power installed capacity reached 149 million kilowatts, and photovoltaic power generation capacity of 77.42 million kilowatts, which marks the largest scale in the world. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the proportion of non-fossil energy power generation installed capacity reached 35%; the proportion of non-fossil energy power generation installed capacity in China accounted for 40% in the world; the proportion of non-fossil energy and natural gas consumption increased by 2.6% and 1.9% respectively while the coal consumption fell by 5.2%; energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 18.4%; carbon dioxide emissions dropped by more than 20%. These results far exceeded expectations.
China is a global leader on clean energy investment. China is the largest global investor in energy efficiency in industry and building products, the world’s leading solar and wind manufacturer and the largest market for these technologies. It is the country with the largest renewables investment in the past five years. The $102.9 billion figure for 2015 represents more than a third of the global total, almost as much as the U.S. and Europe combined.  
Wang Zhigang, Vice Minister of Science and Technology of China, noted in the opening remarks that, “Clean energy economic transition is the inevitable choice for China to boost its economy. It is also the concrete action the country takes to combat climate change as a responsible power in the international society. China will unwaveringly take the new development path, driving the energy revolution with innovative, green growth.”
Clean energy economic transition will not only bring economic benefit, but also social, environment and climate benefit. Based on the annual report of IRENA, in 2016, of the 8.1 million renewable energy jobs that exist globally, 3.5 million are in China. China’s National Energy Administration projects $361 billion investment in renewables during the 13th five -year plan period, a figure that can translate into more than 13 million new jobs.
He Dongquan, Vice President of Program, Energy Foundation China, said:” China's practice of clean energy economic transition will provide a significant reference for the global community, in promoting the global economic restructuring and low-carbon development. In this process, importance should be attached to policy decision-making, technological innovation, market allocation schemes and rule of law. Energy Foundation will continue to provide technical support and pilot practices to help countries achieve economic and social development goals in green and low-carbon model, and exercise the global influence of China's innovation and development path.”
During the forum, Chinese and foreign guests focused their discussion and provided positive suggestions on topics of green growth, economic transition and green employment, green finance and clean energy investment and innovation, as well as the experience in the transition process, which highlight new thoughts and perspectives for China's clean energy economy transition and innovation on growth pattern.
Jerry Brown, Governor of California, the United Stated, dressed the closing remarks for the forum that, clean energy is one of the most important topics of the era, and de-carbonization is the critical step. What we have done is far from enough. Governments, enterprises, and the international community must be united to make greater changes. The Paris Agreement is a milestone and we must walk along the path of de-carbonization. Otherwise human beings cannot survive.
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