With an eye firmly set on the future where China anticipates a leadership role, the country has been constantly pouring money into the development of renewable energy. These investments, it believes, will propel it closer to its superpower ambitions. The aim is to reduce dependency on other powers such as resource-rich Russia or the oil-rich states of the Middle East. The transforming energy landscape will go on to boost China’s standing at the same time as it undermines the influence of the traditionally powerful players in the energy market.
China has already established itself into a leading position when it comes to renewable energy output. Along with that achievement, it is also the largest producer of renewable energy-dependent products such as electric vehicles, etc. As a result, it is a fairly dominant force in the renewable energy landscape. Analysts see this as a smart move on China’s part as it has firmly planted itself into an advantageous position in the growing global renewable energy market. The first mover always has an advantage and having grown substantially in a short span of time into this new market, it will be difficult for the new entrants to counter its influence in setting the rules of the game.
A report published by the Global Commission on Geopolitics of Energy Transformation revealed that the shift from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable sources would be as profound as the one the world experienced 2 centuries ago, which followed the move from biomass to fossil fuels. The surfacing of new energy leaders will entail seismic socio-economic as well as geopolitical changes across the world. It could mean the transformation of the world trade pattern, the forging of new alliances, etc. It could also mean instability for those countries that had been reliant on their oil or resource wealth for too long.
However, the report argued that in the case of China, the future seems to be promising. China has already established itself as the largest producer, installer, and exporter of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and batteries. The leading position that China enjoys in this future energy market is further bolstered by an astounding 150,000 patents related to renewable energy. The figure makes up 29% of the global total. The US being a distant second, has almost 100,000 patents, while the EU combined has a little over 75000 renewable energy patents.