Is Tomorrow’s Green Manufacturing Leader?

Changes are afoot in the manufacturing landscape of China. The World Bank sees growth likely to increase, and the authorities are already planning to boost green manufacturing to drive the economy in the years ahead.

The Made in China 2025 initiative is designed to transform manufacturing from a low value-added, low-cost base to a globally competitive, innovation-driven competitor challenging developed economies, including the United States.

Research and innovation

The programme involves heavy government investment in research and innovation, targeting domestic manufacturing content. This is backed up by concentrating a substantial part of the funding in the sector of green energy, reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing.

Beijing and Shanghai are leading the way in promoting green manufacturing initiatives aimed at reducing pollution and developing environmentally cleaner installations. In some cases, this involves moving manufacturing bases to new green industrial zones.

These developments are attracting interest around the world and are increasingly the subject of seminars and conferences.

Backing up these plans are the country’s renewable energy innovations, as it is the world leader in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels. At the same time, efficient coal power plants with green credentials are being rolled out. Now, however, with prices tumbling, China’s wind and solar industries are increasingly looking to sell equipment abroad.


The green manufacturing programme is also driving the creation of products widely used in many sectors. The use of vacuum conveyor technology, which helps prevent the potential leakage of toxic or hazardous products as seen on sites such as,
is being widely introduced.

The current trade war between the US and China is partly a result of the concern over the latter’s lead in green energy production. Some analysts believe that as the West adopts green technology, it may carry a brass plate engraved “Made in China”.

A recent report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said Chinese renewables are spreading overseas, with the country’s foreign investment in the sector growing rapidly.

A note of caution should be sounded about the aims of the Chinese authority’s plans. Grid construction has failed to keep up with the construction of the hardware over the past year and may need imports to bridge the gap. In the current trade climate, this could end up being a problem.

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