China to invest $372 billion in energy efficiency

Yes, you read that right : the People’s Republic of China has announced last week a massive $372 billion plan for the next three and a half years in order to curb fossil fuels consumption and pollution. That’s $291 million per day !

The main goal is to cut coal consumption by 300 million tonnes as the country has become recently the world’s largest energy consumer and main polluter. Last year, China was responsible for 29% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

This is undoubtedly the biggest energy efficiency plan I have ever heard of. I just hope this will enable energy efficiency to become more mainstream…

This clearly shows that China has understood that Business-as-usual-scenarios can’t continue as pollution soar, temperatures increase and energy prices go through the roof.

Indeed, why put such a huge amount of money – around 300 billion euros, or 230 million per day – if you didn’t expect a colossal and even staggering return ?

This announcement makes a previous one pale as back to September 2011, China was announcing a $313 billion plan on cleantech over the next five years.

The country is rolling out huge cleantech and efficiency plans as it has to curb its emissions and pollution. But I am sure that their local government clearly understands that these are the markets of the future and that their investments will enable them to dominate the economy in a few years or a decade.

Another thought that cross my mind writing this : the time for multi billion dollars / euros projects has come. Just a few months ago, Saudi Arabia announced it would invest $109 billion in the next twenty years…

Given the examples, the United States and the European Union could and even should be much bolder in their clean energy plans for the next decade. Will they just hand over on a silver platter the key to a third industrial revolution ?

Let’s hope not…


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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1 Response

  1. Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    […] around 300 million dollars per day on energy efficiency in the next three and a half year. The $372 billion efficiency program will cut by thousands of tonnes coal […]

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