How does Chinese energy conglomerate match competitiveness with its size?
By CGTN’s Global Business
China Energy Investment, one of the world's largest power companies, is trying to make traditional energies cleaner, as well as help renewables grow faster, according to its President and CEO Ling Wen.
China Energy Investment is one of the world's largest coal suppliers, thermal power generators, wind power producers and coal-to-liquids/chemicals manufacturers. It has assets of 1.8 trillion yuan (around 265 billion U.S. dollars) with 75.5 billion U.S. dollars in sales revenue last year.
To match competitiveness with its size, “No. one is how to make traditional energy cleaner. And the second is how to make renewables grow fast,” Ling stated. 
Ling highlighted the importance of utilizing clean coal. “In China, coal is the only widely available source of energy. So we must utilize coal as cleanly as we can. Everybody knows that natural gas should be cleaner than coal. And if we can have coal utilization adopt the standard of natural gas, it's possible [to make traditional energy cleaner],” Li said.
In China, 71 percent of coal-fired power plants achieved ultra-low emissions, according to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's work report last year. “For our company, we reached 91 percent at the end of last year. And compared to 2013, our total installed capacity has increased a lot, but total volume dropped,” Ling added.
Meanwhile, the Chinese company has invested heavily in renewables, and the CEO stressed the significance of tech innovation. 
“Take copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film solar technology. We have more than 160 scientists in Germany. They are focusing on this thin film technology. Why choose thin-film? One is that it can reduce materials input, five percent compared with a silicon base. Second is it can utilize (feeble) sunlight and have higher efficiency. The third thing is that we can make it flexible and we use CIGS in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV),” he shared an example.
Ling Wen, China Energy Investment president, and CEO. /CGTN Photo

Ling Wen, China Energy Investment president, and CEO. /CGTN Photo

Despite that globalization has given rise to suspicion towards Chinese investment, the company sticks to its globalization strategy. Ling said that the company is making “synergy between existing technologies and local teams” to achieve a win-win situation.
“Let's take an example – the wind farm. We have built the largest wind farm not only in South Africa... This secures very good, stable power supply for the local community. And also we created good jobs for the local society,” Ling shared.
Moreover, the CEO is bullish on opportunities along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “We found lots of opportunities in these BRI countries in Asia-Pacific and Europe. For example, in Indonesia, it has a huge population, it's constrained by a very limited power generation capacity but has abundant coal reserve. So we have built several power stations there. We applied our most advanced technologies in Indonesia,” Ling said.
(CGTN's Cheng Lei also contributed to the story)