Through concerted governmental efforts, China has positioned itself to potentially become the first “green” superpower. Not only has it set an ambitious goal of generating 15% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, it has supported that goal through a number of national incentive programs, including a nationwide feed-in-tariff program to incentivize wind power production, and programs to promote rooftop solar applications and award tariffs for utility scale ground mounted solar power plants. In the area of energy efficiency, China has adopted fuel economy standards that outpace those of the U.S. and will be the first nation to roll out the use of electric vehicles through pilot programs in thirteen cities. Further, China is expected to announce in the coming months plans to build an extensive smart grid by 2020. Such policies are enabling the rapid growth of a domestic cleantech industry that some commentators have predicted could reach $1 trillion, or 15% of China’s GDP, by 2013.
Where do foreign investors fit into this scheme, especially in light of the recent rebound in cleantech venture investment globally? While China officially “encourages” foreign investment in such areas as clean energy production and the manufacturing of clean technology equipment and products, recent regulatory changes have made it more difficult for foreign investors to utilize traditional “offshore” structures to invest in Chinese companies and signaled a preference for strategic or purely onshore investment by foreign investors. The panel discussion will offer insights into the recent changes in the economic and regulatory landscape of the China cleantech sector, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
• The strategic significance of the cleantech industry for China’s economy.
• Current trends and opportunities for foreign investment in China’s cleantech sector.
• The significance of, prospects for and challenges in technology transfer and intellectual property protection in China’s cleantech sector.
• Key issues in structuring cleantech deals in China.
• Exit strategies -onshore or offshore?
• Similarities and differences between the cleantech industry in China and the U.S.
Jaclyn Liu, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
Courtney McColgan, Analyst, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Eric McCrath, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
David Gong, Managing Director, Terraza Venture
Tim Hennessy, President, Prudent Energy
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