On average, Chinese people use a third of the energy used by a person in a developed nation, yet China is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. So how will China fulfil the responsibilities agreed in the UN Paris Agreement (CMA1)?
Let’s take a look at how China plans to reduce its energy consumption, introduce new technologies and the different energy sources used – hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal energy and nuclear power.
China’s goal is that 20% of its energy will come from non-fossil fuel energy by 2030. So where will it come from?
China not only possesses the largest installed hydropower capacity in the world, but also the most advanced hydropower technology.
China’s wind power industry is the fastest growing in the world with two wind turbines installed per hour in 2015. China’s biggest plant has more than 3,500 turbines. But next, China needs to improve the grid to make sure it can use all the wind power that it generates.
China can make more solar energy than anywhere else on earth and also supports the development of solar power worldwide with advanced technology and equipment. In 2020, the country’s solar panel installation capacity will reach 110 million kilowatts – which can provide electricity for 80 million people.
It is particularly valuable in rural provinces, where more and more people are turning to home solar systems for energy.
Turning agricultural residue into pellets has kick-started a national biogas industry in China.
120 kilometres south of Beijing, China has developed its first smoke-free city – Xiong County, which has become a model for other parts of China. 95% of its heating comes from geothermal sources.
As China has one sixth of the world’s geothermal resources, this resource will help to increase China’s use of non-fossil fuel energy from 12% to 15%.
Nuclear power currently accounts for 3% of China’s total power generation. China’s nuclear power units in operation have never had accidents at or above Level 2 on the International Nuclear Accident Classification scale.
But China’s plans to reduce carbon emissions don’t just focus on clean energy – it plans to reduce its energy consumption and introduce new technology and approaches.
China has become the world’s largest electric and hybrid vehicle market and is subsidizing the industry to make it more attractive for manufacturers and consumers. And in 2017, China introduced the world’s largest carbon-trading market encouraging companies to curb emissions.