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The New York Time’s headline, ‘Green power takes root in China’ is representative of a dramatic move towards renewable energy which is taking place in China. The giant Asian power has traditionally been known for its use of fossil fuels with a strong media emphasis being given to pollution problems in China’s major cities resulting from coal burning and extensive carbon emissions from vehicles.

Certainly, with the Beijing Olympics of last year, the worlds eyes were focused sharply on the Chinese capital and the seemingly permanent smog covering which acted as a testament to Chinese heavy industry and the proliferation of vehicles in modern China.

However, it is a marked change in Chinese legislation which prompted the New York newspaper to run with the ‘Green power takes root’ line. The change has come in the form of a national renewable energy level stating that utilities must generate 8 percent of their energy by renewable means by 2020. The fact that this 8 percent figure does not include hydroelectric power adds to the importance which the Chinese are now placing on green energy.

The growing awareness of the lack of long-term sustainability in traditional coal energy sources has prompted the Chinese government to take action to maintain China has a major industrial power well in to the future. There has also been somewhat of a frenzy among private companies seeing the opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves in the Chinese renewable industry, with a growing activity particularly in sectors such as wind and photovoltaic technology which will inevitably boom in China in the near future.

The New York Times was keen to use this Chinese government action to make comparisons with the comparatively weak efforts being made in Washington to spur the renewable sector in the United States. Indeed, in the United Kingdom, with the recent feed-in tariff legislation, members of the green energy industry will be hopeful that government action in the UK will have the same effect it has had on the Chinese market.

The New York Times asserted its almost neurotic view of Chinese renewable growth compared to that of the US by warning,

“You won’t just be buying your toys from China, you’ll be buying your energy future from China.”

China has a target in place to produce 8000 megawatts of energy by wind energy by 2010 which they are set to smash. If China continues apace to move towards green energy, they will surely shame efforts currently being made in the West to develop their own sustainable renewable industries

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