Chinese vessel undertakes first Polar Silk Road sea route as Beijing seeks renewables dominance

Chinese vessel undertakes first Polar Silk Road sea route as Beijing seeks renewables dominance

The Tian En, a Chinese cargo boat, is set to dock in Sweden today as part of its maiden voyage,

2018-09-11T062049Z_1949395387_RC1E66135250_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-MARITIME

Photo: Reuters

The Tian En, a Chinese cargo boat, is set to dock in Sweden today as part of its maiden voyage, bringing wind power equipment to Northern Europe via the Arctic Sea’s Northeast Passage.

The ship’s journey demonstrates Beijing’s continued work towards becoming a renewable energy superpower. China has four of the world’s top ten wind turbine manufacturers and is producing a third of the planet’s wind power, in addition to activity in solar power and reducing carbon emissions.

The boat’s path also highlights China’s plans for a “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic Sea, expanding the reach of the much-touted Belt and Road Initiative to Northern Europe. The route will both expand China’s access to Arctic countries and increase its market for renewable energy exports.

As the US continues to scale back its commitment to renewables and reduces regulations on oil and gas, the door has been left open for China to lead the world in green energy. Expect Bejing to continue in that vein, but not commit itself exclusively to renewables. The government slashed solar subsidies in June, while the Polar Silk Road will facilitate China’s access to nonrenewables—specifically, Russian natural gas.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.