The new energy industry is a strategic emerging industry in the new century and an important support body for a new round of global industrial revolution. At present, major economies in the world, including the United States, China, Japan, and the European Union, are showing high interest in the development of new energy. At the same time, in order to promote the development of the new energy industry in the region, governments of various countries have successively introduced a series of industrial development policies. These policies have supported and guided the advancement of industrial development and promoted the large-scale utilization of new energy. Of course, with the changes in the industrial development situation, these policies are gradually being adjusted and adapted, and some shortcomings have also been exposed.
The United States, the European Union, and Japan are the most typical foreign economies in the development of new energy industries. Their new energy industry policy system and construction process are very important for the establishment and improvement of China’s new energy policy system.
The initial period of the construction of the new energy industry policy system in the United States concentratedly emerged during the administration of President Bush Jr. In August 2005, President Bush Jr. signed the New Energy Act of the United States, proposing to give energy producers tens of billions of dollars in preferential tax subsidies, 72% of which will be used to develop renewable energy. In December 2007, the U.S. Congress passed the “U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act”, stipulating that by 2025, the scale of investment in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency technologies will reach 190 billion U.S. dollars. After President Obama took office, he has paid more attention to the new energy industry and regarded it as an important starting point for economic competition with China and other economies. In February 2009, Obama signed the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” in which infrastructure and scientific research, education, renewable energy and energy-saving projects, medical informatization, and environmental protection have become the focus of investment. In June 2009, the “Clean Energy and Security Act” (ACESA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives further elaborated on the specific content of the U.S. new energy policy. Developing a clean energy economy and improving energy efficiency are the core content of the new energy policy. In July 2009, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Energy announced that they had allocated $3 billion for the development of renewable energy projects across the United States. In September 2009, the US House of Representatives passed a $1 billion wind energy bill to increase financial support for wind energy research. However, by 2011, the US government’s attitude towards the new energy industry has changed. In May 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy stated that it had stopped accepting loan guarantee applications for new solar, wind or other renewable energy facilities, and hinted that companies that have already submitted applications may not be able to obtain all guarantees.
The European Union is one of the most active countries and regions in the world to develop new energy industries. Countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy, and Denmark have all made great efforts to develop new energy. The EU’s new energy policy system developed earlier. At the end of the 20th century, the European Union issued a white paper on the development of renewable energy, setting out that in 2010, renewable energy will account for 12% of the EU’s total energy consumption, and by 2050, the ambitious goal of renewable energy in the entire EU’s energy composition will reach 50%. In 2003, the European Union proposed a renewable energy-based hydrogen energy and hydrogen economic transition plan, and proposed to invest 600 billion euros in the next 20 years to establish a “pan-European energy network” to ensure the security of EU energy supply. In March 2006, the European Commission published the “European Energy Strategy for Security, Competition, and Sustainable Development”, which brought the development of sustainable energy to a new level. In 2007, the European Commission proposed an EU energy package plan. According to the plan, by 2020, the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by at least 20% from 1990, and the proportion of renewable energy in total energy consumption will increase to 20%. In December 2008, the European Parliament approved the EU Energy Climate Package to ensure that the EU will increase the proportion of new energy and renewable energy in the total energy consumption to 20% by 2020. In March 2009, the European Commission announced that it would invest 105 billion euros before 2013 to support the development and application of green technologies, maintaining the EU’s world leading position in the field of green technologies. In November 2010, the European Commission released the EU’s new energy strategy for the next ten years-“Energy 2020: A Competitive, Sustainable and Safe Development Strategy”. In December 2011, the EU Energy Minister issued a statement that the establishment of a new renewable energy target after 2020 will be completed within two years.
Japan is a country that lacks energy resources very much. It has always attached great importance to the development of emerging energy technologies. Ensuring the safety and stability of energy supply has been a difficult problem solved by successive Japanese governments. Japan’s new energy policy system started earlier. In April 1997, Japan formulated the law on special measures to promote the use of new energy (also known as the new energy law), which provides support to enterprises engaged in the introduction of new energy, subsidies for the construction of environmentally coordinated energy supply facilities, subsidies for field tests of new energy power generation, and subsidies for the supply of clean energy vehicles. The law was revised three times in 1999, 2001, and 2002. In 2003, the Japanese government established the Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Comprehensive Development Organization (NEDO) as an independent legal person under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is responsible for organizing and managing research and development projects, as well as providing research funding. In April 2003, the Japanese parliament passed the “Special Disposal Law on the Utilization of New Energy by Electric Power Companies”, which stipulated the obligation to purchase new energy power. In May 2006, the “New National Energy Strategy” of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan proposed to implement a new energy strategy from six aspects, including the development of energy-saving technologies, the reduction of oil dependence, and the implementation of energy consumption diversification. In November 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the other three provinces jointly issued the “Action Plan for Promoting Solar Power Generation”, which put forward a number of preferential policies to promote the use of solar energy, and made solar power generation the focus of the development of Japan’s new energy industry. In June 2010, the Japanese government issued the “Energy Basic Plan”, predicting that by 2020, the new energy used in Japan is equivalent to 24.55 million kiloliters of crude oil and 32.13 million kiloliters of crude oil by 2030. In July 2012, Japan’s special renewable energy measures act was officially implemented, and the full renewable energy power generation acquisition system was implemented. It was decided to set the photovoltaic power generation outside the house at 42 yen (about 3.35 yuan) per kWh, and the wind power generation with a power generation capacity of more than 20kw at 23.1 yen (about 1.84 yuan).