China's solar energy panel Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

De Chinese hernieuwbare energie revolutie

PEKING – Begin 2017 kondigde China aan dat het tegen 2020 360 miljard dollar in hernieuwbare energie zal steken en plannen heeft geschrapt om 85 kolencentrales te bouwen. In maart rapporteerden de Chinese autoriteiten dat het land voorloopt op de officiële doelstellingen voor energie-efficiency, koolstofintensiteit, en het aandeel schone energiebronnen. En afgelopen maand presenteerde de Chinese energieregulator de Nationale Energie Administratie nieuwe maatregelen om ‘s lands afhankelijkheid van kolen te reduceren.

Dit zijn slechts de meest recente indicatoren dat China centraal staat in een mondiale energietransformatie die wordt aangedreven door technologische ontwikkelingen en de dalende kosten van hernieuwbare energie. Maar investeren in hernieuwbare energie en het afbouwen van kolen is niet het enige wat het land doet. China is tegelijk verantwoordelijk voor een stijgend aandeel in de mondiale vraag naar energie, wat betekent dat de voortgaande verschuiving van zijn economie richting een door consumptie en services gedreven groei de grondstoffensector wereldwijd hervormen zal.

Tegelijkertijd verkleinen verschillende andere factoren de mondiale grondstoffenconsumptie, waaronder een betere energie-efficiency in woningen, fabrieken, en kantoren en een lagere vraag naar energie in het transport door het gestegen gebruik van eigen voertuigen en carpooling.

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