Friday, April 01, 2011

China Goes Green?

I am looking forward to participating in this Fortune Brainstorm Green 2011 conference.  Tuesday night, the keyboard player from the Rolling Stones (Chuck Leavell) will play and on Wednesday morning I will participate in this panel;


This fast-growing nation has become the largest producer of solar and wind energy and has pledged to become the leading global maker of electric cars. In part China accomplishes these goals by offering cheap government loans, land, and other subsidies to boost its green industries. What lessons can be learned from China’s green stampede?

Discussion leaders:
Matthew Kahn, Professor, Department of Economics, UCLA
Li Lu, Founder and Chairman, Himalaya Capital Management
Zongwei “Bryan” Li, Executive Director, Vice President, and CFO, Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.
Michael Elliott, Deputy Managing Editor, TIME Magazine

What will I say?

As you know, I've written several pieces about China's green cities.  Here is the full set including some new stuff;

Paper #1  (new!)

Paper #2  (Zheng and Kahn 2008)

Paper #4  (Zheng, Wui, Glaeser and Kahn 2011)

Paper #5  (Zheng, Wu, Deng and Kahn 2011)  --- presented at the Maastricht Conference in March 2011

If you don't have the time to read all of this stuff, let me summarize.  China's cities are home to millions of educated increasingly wealthy people. Many of them have lived and worked in the United States.  The educated want to live in Green Cities and will demand policies to increase city "greenness".  China is urbanizing and is building new capital right now. New public transport, new buildings -- you name it. New capital is more energy efficient than old capital.  China is investing in green tech now because it knows that it needs energy and it wants to have a diversified portfolio of sources.  It also smells a nascent export market if it makes progress in renewables power technology.