China: Supermacht der alternativen Energien?
Wired sieht China auf dem Weg zur führenden Nation mit alternativer Energieversorgung: In the West, clean cars mostly have been the toys of wealthy worrywarts - too expensive to be economical and too technically challenged to be cool. China's feeling an urgency that slower-growing countries don't face. The demand for oil is skyrocketing, rising even faster than the price. And here's the eye-opening stat: In the absence of new regulations, pollution-related illness will suck up as much as 15 percent of the country's gross domestic product by 2030. China's central planners are throwing everything at the problems of fuel and pollution - hybrids, electric cars, propane taxis - all while building conventional cars and infrastructure at a furious pace. "There's a controversy about 'Green GDP' and how to grow," says He Dongquan, a transportation expert at the Energy Foundation in Beijing. "China's in a transition where everyone's mind is changing." Amid the hurly-burly, the only thing that's clear is the future, where hydrogen beckons. China is already taking bold steps toward an alt-fuel future. In late 2003, Beijing mandated some of the world's toughest fuel-efficiency standards. China is even now one of the largest markets for alternative fuel vehicles, with 200,000 in service. In preparation for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing officials plan to convert their entire bus fleet of nearly 120,000 vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).