China’s renewable economy
Furthering interdependence and political cooperation?
Various countries have implemented policies to promote the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. The technological, economic, and societal implications involved with these policies will increasingly affect the technological and economic interdependencies on the international level. In view of the strategic importance of the energy sector, this raises some genuinely political questions, such as the possibility for more or less integration between individual countries. Given the potentially huge geostrategic implications of this issue, some speak of the ‘geopolitics of renewables’. In order to evaluate the implications, this event addresses the consequences of on-going deployment of renewables technologies in China. The Chinese energy sector is the world’s biggest in terms of energy consumption and keeps on expanding, which includes growing ties with other countries and regions. Against this backdrop, China brought forth ambitious plans to promote the use of renewable energy. Given the (potential) impact of this policy on the (future) patterns of energy and trade flows, its international implications need to be addressed. Our aim is, therefore, to study China’s internal policies and motives (Duncan Freeman, College of Europe, Belgium) before discussing their geopolitical consequences (with Espen Moe, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway). Our leading question is: Does China’s transition to renewables further interdependence and political cooperation?