US Firms Cash In on China’s Air Pollution

by | Dec 30, 2013

China smogChina’s air pollution provides an economic opportunity for US clean-tech companies, Reuters reports.

The US Department of Commerce forecasts China’s clean-tech market will triple to $555 billion by 2020. This could be a boon to firms like clean-energy company Fuel Tech, green design engineer WS Atkins and others that are hiring more staff and pursuing Chinese contracts, Reuters says. Fuel Tech, for example, has increased its China-based staff to more than 30 and tells the news agency China is at the forefront of its business development plans.

Additionally, US environmental engineering company LP Amina doubled its China sales this year. The company helps coal power plants reduce emissions by retrofitting burners.

In an effort to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants from power plant emissions, China is offering subsidies to firms. Retrofitting all of China’s power plants over a five-year period will cost about $11 billion, according to Amina.

Meanwhile Atkins is working with Chinese local governments to develop sustainable construction guidelines. China’s contribution to the green building firm’s 88 million pounds ($144.6 million) in Asia-Pacific sales increased to 40 percent this year, Reuters says. The region accounts for some 5 percent of Atkins’ global revenue.

Air pollution in Beijing hit record levels last January, measuring 38 times the level recommended by the World Health Organizations. To reduce the toxic smog, the Chinese capital plans to replace its oil-burning buses with new models powered by electricity or natural gas by 2017.

Earlier this month air pollution in Shanghai delayed or cancelled hundreds of flights. The poor air quality on Dec. 6 also caused the Shanghai government to issue the highest level of public health warning as the Chinese city’s pollution index ranged between 23 and 31 times the recommended levels.

Photo Credit: Beijing air pollution Hung Chung Chih


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