The Downside of China's Clean Energy Push

Beijing has thrown solar companies a lifeline. The industry would be better off if some went under
President-elect Xi Jinping Photo illustration by 731; Photos: Getty Images(5)

In its 12th Five-Year Plan laid finalized this past August, China committed about $290 billion to clean energy investments. The goal: to produce 20 percent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2015. The world paid heed. President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address warned that the U.S. needed to invest more in renewables lest the Chinese ace it out. “I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China … because we refuse to make the same commitment here,” the president declared.

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