In his April 21 op-ed, “Beyond the ‘green China’ myth,” Bjorn Lomborg used outdated figures to make light of China’s successes in deploying clean energy. In 2010, China invested $45 billion in wind power (more than the entire U.S. clean-energy economy), which led to 17 gigawatts of new installations (more than three times that installed by the United States).
By 2010, 31 out of 41 gigawatts of national wind installations were connected to the transmission grid. China’s largest grid operator has committed to spending $44 billion by 2012 and $88 billion by 2020 on ultra-high-voltage transmission lines. On April 15, the Chinese government said it would make an effort to improve the connection situation and issue regulations soon for national wind power operations.
Mr. Lomborg confused the International Energy Agency’s scenario for carbon reductions with a business-as-usual forecast. The IEA considered all of China’s ambitious policies and assumes renewal over the next decade. Discounting this as “nothing new” penalizes China for being an early adopter.
With extended efforts, including increasing the share of non-fossil fuels to 16 percent of the final energy mix by 2020, China is on track to help stabilize the global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Barbara Finamore, Beijing
The writer is China program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.