Gillard Talks Fossil Fuels, Reid Evangelises Renewables In China

Taking a diplomatic sojourn in China this week alongside Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was Democratic Senate House leader Harry Reid – a man who would appear to understand the importance of renewable energy to a country’s economy.
Senator Reid led a bi-partisan delegation of US senators to the nation which the International Monetary Fund recently announced will overtake the US as the world’s economic superpower by 2016. 
Unlike Ms. Gillard, who spoke primarily of how Australia could feed China’s huge appetite for emissions-intensive coal and natural gas, Senator Reid brought home a vision of a renewable energy-fueled economy, where America must emulate China by leading the world in exports for solar and wind energy generation technology.
It was the Chinese government’s aggressive renewable energy investment policies that had put it on the path to global green power dominance, the senator said. The strategy isn’t just paying off in green street-cred, but also in security and the country’s bottom line.
“China isn’t investing so heavily in clean energy just because it’s good for the environment – it’s doing so because it’s good for the economy,” Reid said. “China knows clean energy creates jobs and, in reducing its reliance on oil, makes it more secure.”
Private investments in Chinese renewable energy production topped USD$54 billion in 2010, and China knows the value of putting in seed money for overseas solar, wind and hydro projects. 
Chinese energy consortium Shenyang Power Group has put up USD$1.5 billion for a 615 megawatt (MW) wind farm in West Texas, which will create 1000 jobs for American workers – and net its investors healthy profits as peak oil production is reached and traditional energy costs skyrocket.
“With our vast renewable energy resources and American ingenuity, we can’t afford not to be a globally competitive. We should also look for new opportunities to collaborate on and advance clean-energy deployment here and abroad,” Reid said.