Cross-posted from Center for American Progress.
There is no way to get around this fact — China aims to modernize its energy infrastructure at home and dominate clean energy technology markets abroad. At the 2011 Smart Grid World Forum in Beijing late last month, China’s State Grid Corporation announced plans to invest $250 billion in electric power infrastructure upgrades over the next five years, of which $45 billion is earmarked [PDF] for smart grid technologies. According to its three-stage plan, China will invest another $240 billion between 2016 and 2020 (including another $45 billion toward smart grid technologies) to complete the build-out of a “stronger, smarter” Chinese power grid.
When complete, this system will improve energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and give Chinese consumers more control over their utility bills. Chinese leaders are betting that upgrading to a smarter electricity grid will also drive technology innovation and move the country up the manufacturing value chain. The Chinese view smart grid technology as the next industrial revolution — and they want to make sure that once other ... Read more