Traditionally, Europe is considered to rank among the top performers in renewable energy. However, its lead in this area is increasingly challenged, notably by newcomer China. Keen to sustain its economic growth and ensure the availability of sufficient energy sources to that effect, China’s progress in the field of renewable energy is as much about security of supply, as it is about counteracting the effects of environmental degradation and climate change.
In its efforts to safeguard its economic growth, China is increasingly competing with the EU over scarce fossil fuel sources, such as natural gas from Central Asia. The focus of EU-China energy cooperation is therefore as much structured in terms of managing the latter’s energy demand to limit its impact on climate change and the environment, as it is about relieving pressure on the Union’s own security of supply.