China Low-Carbon Incentives Are Almost Triple Those in U.S., Study Finds

China’s incentives to encourage low- carbon generation such as solar and wind power are almost triple those in the U.S., according to the Climate Institute.

Measures to spur renewable energy, as well as taxes on dirtier forms of generation such as burning coal placed China above the U.S., Japan, Australia and South Korea in a six- country study and below only the U.K., according to the report, prepared for the Sydney-based institute by London-based analysts at Vivid Economics.

China, the biggest emitter, said last year it aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 percent to 45 percent from 2005 through 2020, when its target is to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources. The U.S and other countries are losing out to China in developing clean energy, Erwin Jackson, deputy chief executive officer of the Australian institute, said in a telephone interview.

“China is leading and taking responsibility,” Jackson said. “If you look at it, they’re doing it because it’s in their economic interests.”

China overtook the U.S. on Sept. 8 to top a quarterly index of the most attractive countries for renewable-energy projects compiled by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young. State- owned China Development Bank loaned at least $42.8 billion this year to solar manufacturers including LDK Solar Co., JA Solar Holdings Co., Trina Solar Ltd., Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. and Suntech Power Holdings Co.

The Asian nation had three wind turbine makers in the top 10 worldwide last year in terms of sales by megawatts: Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Dongfang Electric Corp. and Sinovel Wind Co. according to Danish researcher BTM Consult ApS.


Today’s study said that measures to promote clean energy or tax fossil fuels, when adjusted for purchasing power in the respective countries, amount to an implicit price of carbon of $29.31 in the U.K., $14.22 in China, $5.05 in the U.S., $3.11 in Japan, $1.38 in Australia and $0.72 in South Korea. The cross- country comparisons are “imperfect” because of differing circumstances, it said.

A separate study by HSBC Holdings Plc in March found that South Korea leads the world in terms of the proportion of economic stimulus funding dedicated to measures to increase energy efficiency and slash carbon emissions, with 78 percent.

The figure for China was about a third, in the U.S. it was 12 percent, and in the U.K. it was 15 percent. Of $82 billion of green stimulus funds actually spent last year, China accounted for $61 billion, HSBC said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at; Catherine Airlie at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at; Stephen Voss at

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