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China, Europe Share Prospects in Green Development

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2023-04-13 10:53:46 | Author: Science and Technology Daily

Photo taken on Sept. 15, 2019 shows wind farm in Brandenburg, Germany. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

Multiple leaders from Europe have recently been seen visiting China. Commenting on the visits at a regular press conference on April 6, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said, "As a Chinese saying goes, a good beginning made in spring will ensure success for the whole year. Spring for China-Europe cooperation has arrived. China-Europe exchange in various areas has resumed swiftly and comprehensively."

An increasingly important area of this cooperation is sci-tech innovation (STI), driven by the common need to tackle global challenges related to the areas of green energy, biodiversity, and climate change.

Joint efforts on green transformation

As the EU continues to expand its green transformation, China's supplying capacity based on the complete renewable energy industrial chain will help reduce costs and improve efficiency. China's supply of renewable energy products is of even greater significance when considering how COVID-19 and other factors have destabilized the global industry chain and supply chain.

From January to June 2022, China's photovoltaic module exports to Europe reached 42.4 gigawatts, up 137 percent year-on-year, accounting for 53.9 percent of China's photovoltaic exports. 

A number of major green energy projects have been implemented with joint effort. In the field of renewable energy, the first Mediterranean offshore wind farm in Taranto, Italy, has its wind turbines delivered by Mingyang Smart Energy. The Senj wind farm in Croatia was built and operated by China North Industries Corporation and uses turbines from Shanghai Electric.

The Mozura onshore wind power project in Montenegro and Portugal's Solara4 project are also contracted by Chinese companies. The Solara4 photovoltaic power station has the largest single-unit capacity in Europe and is amongst the top 20 largest solar PV plants in the world. It can generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

In emerging areas of green energy like batteries, the EU has constantly emphasized the importance of localizing battery manufacturing. In August 2022, China-based battery manufacturer CATL announced its plan to invest 7.34 billion euros to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen of east Hungary, which is also its second battery plant in Europe after its German plant.

The Hungarian plant will promote the deep integration of central and eastern European countries with the German auto industry and will accelerate the transition to e-mobility in Europe. "With CATL we have a technology leader as our partner to provide us with top-notch carbon-neutral battery cells for our next-generation EVs in Europe,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group.

Active players in biodiversity and climate change

Apart from green energy, China and European countries have worked together productively to tackle challenges such as climate change and biodiversity protection.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appreciated the vital role China played in securing the historic Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and hailed China as an active player in the international treaty to protect biodiversity in international waters this March.

"At a time of global conflict and tension, these are notable diplomatic achievements, which China and the EU worked on together. And we look forward to working together in the same spirit ahead of COP28 later this year,” said von der Leyen on March 30, before her visit to China.

On April 6 in Beijing, von der Leyen again commended China's efforts to cut carbon emissions. The EU stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with China to jointly meet global challenges and contribute to peace, stability, and development in the world, von der Leyen said.

Editor: 王晓夏

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