In February 2021, Elon Musk announced Tesla will take Bitcoin as payment after the company had bought $1.5 BN of cryptocurrency.
On 12 May, he dropped the idea. Accepting payment in Bitcoin now raised environmental concerns about energy-intensive activities using fossil fuel. Tesla, he said, backed away from accepting payment in the cryptocurrency because of the energy-intensive “mining” that goes into validating transactions.
Digital transformation has dramatically reshaped all walks of life and business, especially now in the age of continuous disruption and uncertainty. However, the new modes of transactions that goes with digital transformation can consume a significant amount of conventional energy.
Eventually, the net-zero goal will benefit all human beings, but it needs sacrifice and breaking away from the conventional paradigm. Global entrepreneurs have a big role to play in encouraging new attitudes and promoting behavioural changes and demonstrating their willingness to be serious on environmental protection.
Good job Elon.
China is the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) production economy. The rapid development and emergence of the Chinese solar PV industry was enabled through transnational entrepreneurship. It was accelerated by the founding of Suntech Power in 2000 by Shi Zhenrong, a Chinese returnee entrepreneur from Australia.
The landmark event was its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2005. The success story spurred a series of IPOs by Chinese solar PV manufacturing firms to list in overseas stock exchanges, such as Nasdaq and the NYSE.
Despite the large production base of PV panels in China, the consumption is largely from overseas markets. Notably Germany, which is the world’s largest solar PV consumer, and its German feed-in tariff serves as an important reference point for other countries in crafting renewable energy policies.
In aiming for the achievement of the net zero target in the future, renewable energy (solar, wind, ocean, biogas, etc.) is critical. Considering the global trade trends (e.g. the China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with the EU – CAI) and emergence of regional trade structure (e.g. the Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), global collaboration on renewable energy will become even more important. China’s skills and capabilities in mass production in renewable energy sectors can, and will, contribute to the global audacious goal of net zero.