China encourages more foreign investment in energy development

Emerging China: China’s Information Office of the State Council issued the country’s first ever white paper on energy conditions and policies in late December, calling for an energy strategy centered on energy conservation, environmental protection, and increased international cooperation. “We welcome more foreign investment in the energy sector,” said Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai at the first China International Coal and Energy New Industry Expo.

“Foreign companies that own clean coal technologies and work with their Chinese counterparts to tap China’s coal reserves, one of the world’s largest, may get good returns as China is seeking to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and ease its increasing thirst for oil,” Bo added.

Several major foreign companies, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, South Africa-based Sasol Ltd., General Electric, ABB Group and Siemens AG, have already begun working with Chinese companies to produce electricity and substitutes for crude oil derivatives from coal, according to the Chinese Commerce Department.

“These big players are contributing to China’s the transition from ‘black energy’ to ‘green energy’, and make healthy profits as a result,” said Angang Hu, a professor of public policy and Management at Tsinghua University and director of the influential policy thinktank, the Center for China Studies.

…Renewable energy projects are particularly favored both by Chinese government and foreign investors…. Trina Solar, a photovoltaic industry giant located in Changzhou, in Jiangsu province, is backed by a number of known investors such as Good Energies, Milestone Capital and Merrill Lynch. The solar industry has great potential and is growing fast in the Chinese market, according to Jifan Gao, CEO of Trina Solar….

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