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Copenhagen - Chinese verve undimmed by Copenhagen anticlimax

CHINA: The Chinese wind sector has largely brushed off the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit because of good news at home.

"Chinese businesses enjoy government guarantees in the prospect of developing renewable energy in the country," says Meng Xiangan, vice-president of China Renewable Energy Society. "Other countries' policies have little influence on China."

Han Junliang, president of state-owned manufacturer Sinovel, recently said: "Wind energy is the long-term strategy of the Chinese state." Prior to the summit, China announced a 2020 emissions reduction target. And shortly after the summit, China amended its Renewable Energy Law to increase penalties for utilities failing to buy all output from renewable energy plants and channel more funds into research and infrastructure.

John Cameron, vice chairman of green investment management firm Climate Change Capital, believes support will last at least ten years. "Much of the demand for wind technology is going to be driven by Chinese policies that are not required by an international agreement. They are wholly created and implemented domestically," he says, adding that China's leap will boost competition across the wind sector supply chain. For Europe, this could cut the cost of complying with its obligation to produce 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. "It is healthy that we are going to have serious competition emerging in China, India and the US," he says.

In China, wind power businesses continue to simmer over the recent decision by the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reject carbon financing for ten Chinese projects (Windpower Monthly, January 2010).

But Wen Shugang, president of wind turbine maker Dongfang Electric Corporation, looks beyond the CDM. "The best ways of coping with global warming are still technological innovation and industrial restructuring," he says. "Our duty is to create more advanced technologies and accelerate industrial restructuring to create environmentally friendly businesses." China's approach, he says, gives it an edge. "We face greater opportunities than challenges, post-Copenhagen."

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