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Green Energy Investors Flock to China

Written by Jeff St. John

In the midst of a worldwide financial crisis, China's growing demand for energy continues to be an attractive draw for investors. (Don't miss "Buffett Buys 10% Stake in Chinese Battery Maker")

Several greentech companies this week have announced plans to put money into satisfying fast-growing appetite for renewable energy.

On the solar front, Taiwan's Green Energy Technology said Wednesday that it is investing $5.05 million for a 40% stake in a joint venture aimed at supplying solar cells to Chinese manufacturers.

The subsidiary of the Tatung Group said the joint venture hoped to be up and running by mid-2009 and to have an annual production capacity of 60 megawatts.

Also on Wednesday, the Nordic Environment Finance Corp. said that its Carbon Fund has signed up to buy carbon-emission reductions from two Chinese renewable power projects -- a 201-megawatt wind project being developed by Yangtze New Energy Development Co. in Jiangsu province, and a small hydroelectric power project in southwest China.

The deals were announced a day after Google (GOOG) pledged to give $250,000 to the U.S. National Academies to find ways to link the United States and China -- the world's two largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters -- in developing renewable energy policies and technologies. (Don't miss "Google Bankrolls U.S.-China Green Energy Study")

All of it points to a continuation of China's boom in renewable energy, itself both a part of -- and a reaction to -- China's fast-paced economic growth over the past decade, said Ron Pernick, co-founder and principal of research and publishing firm Clean Edge.

"China has not been sitting idle" in either the manufacturing or the deploying of renewable energy technologies, Pernick said. China already leads the world in making solar-water heaters, and its list of solar-photovoltaic manufacturers has grown to include heavy hitters such as Suntech Power Holdings (STP), China Sunergy (CSUN) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. (YGE), he said.

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