By AP reporter NICHOLAS SCHULTZ The price of aluminum sheets is surging in China as government and industry officials push ahead with plans to slash coal-fired power plants and build more solar and wind power plants.
The metals’ rise reflects broader demand for energy and has helped fuel a rebound in China’s economy.
China is now the world’s third-largest producer of aluminum, behind the United States and Japan.
Aluminum’s surge is also a sign of how much investors have come to trust China as a haven to invest.
In the U.S., which is already struggling with its own coal-burning problems, the rise of aluminum is a sign that investors are paying attention to how China is developing renewable energy.
Aluminum is becoming more important as a way to deliver electricity to markets, and it is being used to help China develop its renewable energy program.
But for now, aluminum is still a commodity and is not a reliable substitute for coal, which is the mainstay of China’s energy economy.
Aluminum prices in the U