Low-carbon investments involving BRI exceed those of traditional fuels
Ties among economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative will be strengthened by closer energy cooperation — especially clean energy — following noteworthy results that have benefited all regions over the years, officials and experts said on Wednesday.
Over the past decade, the BRI-involved energy cooperation has yielded win-win results, contributing significantly to the construction of a greener and more inclusive future for the energy industry, as well as promoting global economic and social development, said Ren Jingdong, deputy head of the National Energy Administration.
"Our cooperation in green energy projects has been carried out with over 100 countries and regions, with green and low-carbon energy investments involving the BRI surpassing traditional energy," Ren said.
Going forward, the NEA will continue to strengthen clean energy cooperation through innovative cooperative mechanisms and the promotion of relevant projects. It will also actively facilitate cooperation in technological innovation in areas such as hydrogen and power storage, Ren said.
The remarks were made during the Belt and Road Energy Partnership Forum that opened on Wednesday in Xiamen, Fujian province.
"BRI-involving countries and regions are highly compatible in terms of investment, trade, technology, and production capacity, which is conducive to the establishment of long-term cooperative relations," said Li Jun, an official with the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization.
BRI-involving countries and regions have carried out extensive cooperation in the fields of energy trade, investment, equipment, technology and standards in the past 10 years, she said.
Li said that with the demand for primary energy rising to an estimated over 20 billion metric tons of standard coal by 2050 in BRI-involving countries and regions, the outlook for energy cooperation is promising and needs further efforts to optimize cooperation mechanisms, which include aspects such as policy coordination and technical cooperation.
Moin ul Haque, Pakistan's ambassador to China, said during the forum that BRI projects have played an active role in promoting social and economic development in Pakistan. He said further efforts are expected to deepen BRI cooperation in the energy sector to promote the country's new energy development while ensuring energy security to support rapid economic growth.
China is now the world's largest market for clean energy, and has also become the biggest new energy equipment manufacturer, according to the NEA.
The country contributed over 70 percent of the global photovoltaic capacity and 60 percent of the wind power capacity, effectively driving down the cost of renewable energy worldwide and accelerating the green transformation for the global energy industry.
"Over the past decade, China has established government-to-government energy cooperation mechanisms with over 90 countries, regions, and international organizations and expanded BRI energy cooperation network. The country also rolled out a series of documents and launched multiple forums to create new opportunities for international cooperation in the energy industry," Ren said.
Chinese firms have also actively invested in and constructed a number of BRI-related energy projects.
State-owned China Petrochemical Corp, or Sinopec, for instance, has executed 292 contracts for oil refining and chemical engineering projects in recent years. Last year, the company completed crude oil trade of 238 million tons, finished oil products trade of 22.85 million tons and liquefied natural gas trade of 7.03 million tons with BRI-involving countries and regions.
"We will continue to deepen cooperation in oil and gas resources (with BRI-involving countries and regions) and strengthen the construction of energy transmission facilities between China and areas including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, forming an interconnected, smooth, safe, and efficient oil and gas pipeline network," said Zhao Dong, president of Sinopec.
Zhao said further efforts will be made to deepen cooperation in green energy by promoting the development of power generation from renewable energy and the construction of smart grids, collaborate on the mass production of green hydrogen as well as trade infrastructure construction.