“Pollution in China has been a serious issue for some time, but it has now become one of the biggest sources of public discontent in the country, and as a result is a hot political issue.
“The Chinese government is focused on both reducing environmental damage – both in terms of atmospheric emissions and also water pollution – as well as making better use of the waste resource that is produced.”
Robinson said that Germany “is a global leader in environmental technologies, thanks to years of tough regulations and attractive incentives for alternative energy solutions” and added that it was already “China’s largest trading partner in Europe, and China is Germany’s in the Asia Pacific region, so both countries already understand what each can offer”.
He said that reducing air pollution is a key objective in China and the country’s coal plants already have pollution control technology installed, “but many industries, particularly manufacturing, petrochemical and chemical industries are still heavy polluters”.
Robinson added that “water is another key issue. China’s coal industry is water intensive – this includes the mining, usage in power plants and also usage in associated heavy industries. Installing wastewater treatment solutions could help to avoid water shortage within the industry, ensure sufficient availability for the population and agriculture.”
He also stressed that the waste-to-energy potential “is also huge, as is the potential for greater waste recycling and re-use and the potential for biogas, which offers huge opportunities”.
However he added that “the big concern for German companies is to find a way to sell their products and services into the Chinese market, while also protecting their intellectual property rights – something that has proved an issue for a number of major companies in the past”.
“The most likely route to market would be through partnerships/joint ventures with Chinese players or potential technology licence agreements – although these carry the risk of creating competitors for the future.”