China and Renewables: The Priority of Economics over Geopolitics

Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 61)

Abstract

The geopolitics of energy has traditionally focused on security of access to supply of fossil fuels. The fact that renewable energy resources are fundamentally different from fossil fuels reframes the problem the geopolitics of energy. In China, the geopolitics of energy has been viewed in the traditional frame of security of energy supply. Renewables have not been considered a geopolitical question, either by the Chinese government or scholars. The Chinese government approaches renewable energy from multiple dimensions, including energy supply, climate change, and environmental impacts. However, while exploitation of renewable energy resources themselves are central to Chinese government policy, this is matched in importance by the economic and industrial policy goals of exploitation of technology, production, markets, trade and investment in the renewables sector. Rather than the geopolitics of energy, industrial policy has been the key to renewable policy in China, and will in turn determine how the geopolitics of renewable energy develops in China.

Keywords

China Renewable energy Energy policy Industrial policy Geopolitics 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EU International Relations and Diplomacy DepartmentEU-China Research Centre, College of EuropeBruggeBelgium

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