China strengthens lead in global clean tech race, EU falls behind
The third edition of Clean Economy, Living Planet ranks 25 countries based on the 2011 sales of the clean energy technology products they manufacture, such as solar panels and wind turbines. It found that in terms of total sales value of clean energy technology, China had the largest market, followed by the United States and Germany.
In terms of clean technology sales weighted to the size of the economy, the report found that Denmark maintained the top spot, followed by China and Germany. In contrast to the total sales ranking, the US ranked 15 th in the weighted category.
Overall, while sales from manufacturers in many countries in Asia and the Americas continued to increase, European manufactures have kept their sales stable or have even seen a decline in sales.
“Political will is what separates winners from losers in the clean economy of the future, and that’s what the rankings show,” said WWF global climate and energy policy leader Samantha Smith. “Their governments invested, and now the winners are getting the sales, jobs and technology.”
The top five fastest growing manufacturing hubs for 2010-11 were Taiwan (+36%), China (+29%), India (+19%), South Korea (+19%) and the United States (+17%).
Significantly, the report reveals that South Korea starts reaping the rewards of its “Low Carbon, Green Growth” national vision launched by Lee Myung-Bak in 2008 also as part of a financial rescue package. According to the report: “South Korea has designated cleantech as the next engine for growth, which includes R&D and manufacturing stimulus as well as targets on renewable energy use and energy efficiency”.
The report found that in 2011, the global sales value of the clean technology sector increased by 10% – to almost €200 billion. However in comparison to 2010, the 2011 growth of that sales value is much more unevenly distributed across countries.
By 2015, the clean tech sector is expected to rival the oil and gas equipment market, when the forecasted market size will be between €240 and 290 billion, the report states.
Countries that gain a strong position in cleantech manufacturing today have the best prospects to capitalize on the expected strong growth in the future.
“The countries that are capturing global markets have all realized that cleantech is an important part of their energy policy, economic policy and industrial policy. These countries are supporting the clean energy technology industry, and have stable, long-term policies generating green investments. They incentivize the right areas, and now they’re reaping the rewards,” said Smith.
The Clean Economy, Living Planet report was prepared by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and commissioned by WWF, with support from Eneco, and Rabobank and De Lage Landen.
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