By Peter Higgins
Mar. 17 – The Third Annual Cleantech Investor Panel in Shanghai last night brought together dozens of the region’s leading green technology inventors and investors to discuss the future of Cleantech here in China.
Hosted by China Entrepreneurs at The Westin Bund Center, the event began with an introduction to the China Greentech Report 2009 by Ellen G. Carberry, co-creator of The China Greentech Initiative and Venture Partner at Hao Capital. Other panelists included Michel Brekelmans from L.E.K. Consulting, Andre Loesekrug-Pietri from CEL Partners, and moderator Eric Schmidt, who is the President and Founder of China Entrepreneurs.
The rapid expansion of the Chinese economy has helped lift the country onto the world stage but, at the same time, has had a negative impact on the environment. In 2006, China emerged as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 20 percent of the world’s GLTG emissions. According to the China Greentech Initiative, industrial production accounts for 50 percent of Chinese GDP. Furthermore, 70 percent the country’s energy comes from coal, compared to the world average of 30 percent.
Recently, the Chinese government has made significant strides in promoting clean technology in order to address the grave environmental situation. During the panel discussion Carberry said the Chinese government is, “acting quite progressively and proactively to turn the ship.” As part of China’s green push, the government has strengthened environmental regulations, increased subsidies, and provided numerous tax benefits for Cleantech industries.
While the government has made China one of the most attractive markets for Cleantech investors, Loesekrug-Pietri said that they should do a better job of communicating this to the world. Referencing last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen, he said that many leaders in the west do not understand just how much progress China has made in going green.
As China continues economic expansion, Cleantech solutions will be necessary to manage growth in a sustainable way. Referring to Cleantech, Brekelmans said that the Chinese government, “is very progressive and pragmatic in its thinking,” which will encourage entrepreneurs and investors alike well into the future.
The China Greentech Report 2009 is an open source commercial collaboration of over 80 of the world’s leading green technology companies, entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and policy advisors. It provides in-depth coverage of seven sectors of the Cleantech industry: cleaner conventional energy, renewable energy, electric power infrastructure, green building, cleaner transportation, cleaner industry and clean water. According to Carberry, the solutions in the report represent a market value of US$1 trillion.
The Prospect of Cleantech in China