Statistics show that in 2005, a total of US$38 billion was invested in renewable energy development worldwide. China topped the list with a commitment of US$6 billion, excluding spending on large hydropower projects.
China has good reason to speed up its renewables development, as the country is fairly poor in many energy resources in per capita terms. Its remaining exploitable reserves of petroleum and natural gas are merely 7.7 percent and 7.1 percent of world averages, while those of coal are 58.6 percent of the world average. At the current rate of extraction, China’s proven reserves of these resources could last 15, 30, and 80 years, respectively, compared with world averages of 45, 61, and 230 years.