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China will spend $75B annually on clean-energy technologies

Assembly workers stack layers of photovoltaic cells at the Hope Solar factory in Beijing.

Assembly workers stack layers of photovoltaic cells at the Hope Solar factory in Beijing.

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Imagine a stack of $1 million -- and then multiply that 75,000 times. That's how much the Chinese government reportedly plans to spend every year on clean-energy technologies. Chinese state media are reporting the $75 billion will be used to boost wind, nuclear, solar, and carbon storage. Our China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz reports.


Rob Schmitz: China's proposed clean-energy budget is three times as large as the entire budget of the U.S. Department of Energy. The environment's going to need all the help it can get to contend with thousands of these:

[Sound of a train]

A train carrying coal winds through a mine tunnel in Shaanxi province. To keep up with the country's exploding economic growth, China builds, on average, one new coal-fired power plant a week.

Deborah Seligsohn: What China is doing, which is good, is they're building the most efficient power plants in the world.

Deborah Seligsohn is head of the China Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute:

Seligsohn: The next challenge for China will be whether they choose to take some of the carbon dioxide that is emitted from those power plants and start storing it underground.

China has a handful of pilot programs that are doing just that. And with this new funding, observers say China will be well positioned to eventually sell its carbon-storage technology. It's been quite a successful formula for China; it's done quite well exporting solar panels and wind turbines to the U.S.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

Assembly workers stack layers of photovoltaic cells at the Hope Solar factory in Beijing.

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