China Aims To Power Belt And Road Initiative With Green Energy Development

Belt and Road
Chinese President Xi at the Second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

China's ambitious infrastructure project, which aims to create the modern version of the ancient Silk Road, is meant to bolster the economies of every nation that takes part in it. To make the project last for generations, the project has to incorporate a sustainable foundation using green energy sources. Prior to its proposal in 2013, China had already envisioned green development strategies to be part of the monstrous undertaking.

At the recently held Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation event, China reiterated this goal and highlighted the importance of incorporating green technologies to make the project more sustainable. The director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Zhai Dongsheng, revealed a number of measures they have implemented to realize their dream of a greener Belt and Road Initiative.

Zhai mentioned that China is now investing billions of dollars into new energy technologies, which includes solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric power. Officials have also hinted that they will be gradually moving the project's energy consumption from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources as it progresses. Chinese President Xi Jinping mirrored the sentiments and mentioned that the project has to be green in order for it to be sustainable. This is apparently in line with the current global trend, which is also slowly transitioning to greener energy technologies.

According to a report from New Energy Outlook, the world's energy needs could transition by more than 50 percent to greener sources by 2050. China is currently at the forefront of that movement, with the country poised to become the world's first clean energy superpower. A report from the World Wildlife Fund predicts that China could be generating up to 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

The report based its prediction on the rapid adoption of numerous state-owned enterprises in green development. This includes the adoption of renewable technologies in the various firms involved in the country's Belt and Road Initiative. State-owned firms such as China Energy Engineering Group Co, Ltd (Energy China) are already advocating low-carbon and sustainable initiatives.

China's Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) is already constructing a large hydroelectric power facility in Argentina, estimated to cost around US$5 billion. The Belt and Road Initiative has played a major role in promoting cooperation between China and its partner countries. China's global ties with nations taking part in the initiative have sparked a new era of global cooperation and innovation, thanks to more open trades and financial partnerships.

The Belt and Road Initiative has so far served as a platform that allowed China and its partner nations to share technologies and expertise to meet their respective needs. JinkoSolar, a Chinese solar energy firm, has taken advantage of this platform with the establishment of various research and development facilities in China's partner countries. Without the Belt and Road project, the company would have never been able to establish its advanced facilities.

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