How can China reach its net zero carbon pledge?

Via Bloomberg:

China’s recent pledge to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 has surprised the world. As the world’s largest carbon emitter and energy consumer, China’s yet-unknown pathway to carbon neutrality is certain to disrupt the globe’s energy economy. This white paper examines how accelerated electrification of final energy use in sectors such as industry and road vehicles, coupled with accelerated deployment of renewables, can prepare China to reach its goal.

• China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, accounting for 28% of global emissions in 2018. China’s path toward carbon neutrality will be no small feat as its energy demand and emissions are still rising. Around 90% of China’s emissions come from electricity and heat production, industry, and transport. China can reach peak emissions sooner and increase the speed of reductions thereafter by accelerating decarbonization of the electricity system and electrifying more of the energy demand from road transport and industry.

• This White Paper uses the New Energy Outlook (NEO), BNEF’s annual long-term scenario analysis on the future of the energy economy, to consider two scenarios for China: 1) Economic Transition Scenario (ETS), an economics-led scenario that employs a combination of near-term market analysis, least-cost modeling, consumer uptake and trend-based analysis to describe the deployment and diffusion of commercially available technologies; 2) Accelerated Transition Scenario (ATS): building upon the ETS results, post-2023 this scenario considers a higher rate of direct electrification in road transport, buildings and industry, combined with increased uptake of zero-emission electricity supply.

• In the ETS, power demand rises by 55% from 2019 to 2044, reaching 11,287TWh, then declines gradually to 10,788TWh by 2050. In the ATS, due to higher direct electrification of transport, industry and buildings, power demand in 2050 is 36% higher than the ETS, reaching 14,855TWh. Under ATS, electricity demand does not reach a peak prior to 2050. Under ATS, more than 90% of the electricity supply comes from zero-carbon sources dominated by solar and wind, with hydrogen-fueled gas turbines providing balancing needs.

• In the ETS scenario, power sector emissions peak in 2026 and then come down by an average 133 million tons of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) a year until 2050. In the ATS scenario, the peak year is pulled earlier to 2024, and the reduction speed gets faster, at 150 million tons per year, despite electricity in this case contributing 53% of final energy consumption in 2050, around 10 percentage points higher than in the ETS. This makes it much easier for China to reach its carbon neutrality goal by 2060.

• The accelerated transition scenario requires $7.9 trillion worth of investment in electricity generation capacity over the next 30 years, more than double the $3.3 trillion needed under ETS. While China’s solar and wind industry are already well-established, a larger market is of course beneficial to their continued growth. More importantly, under ATS, China has the opportunity to use its own domestic market – as it did effectively with solar, battery and EV manufacturing – to achieve global leadership in new technology areas such as hydrogenfueled gas turbines.

Sounds like it will need a lot of Australian energy and mineral inputs. Full report.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      Awesome, we should also situate each of the new local Great Wall, Haval and LDV factories immediately adjacent to their own junkyards so as to both cut out the middle man and minimise both frustration and inconvenience for hapless purchasers. Australia, putting the ‘eficient’ back in ‘deficient’.

  1. They have no intention of going zero emissions. The target is just some bait to suck certain stupid people into claiming the CCP has some sort of moral authority over the West.

    • Exactly – just like something else claiming to be a religion of peace.

      It’s just propaganda to deceive the slow witted. Everyone else knows they intend to break that promise and hide it by lying.

      • Interesting to note the graph above – they have only commenced a single nuclear reactor in three years! And likewise for wind, not the best country for it…

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Hi Peter,
      How can China reach 0 emissions ?
      Simple , they stop buying fossil fuels from Australia the worlds 2nd largest supplier of Fossil fuels.
      By the way Australia also lies and cooks the books on it’s emission reduction targets.
      China are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, they have been devastated by 3 x1 in 1000 year floods this year
      They too want to survive.

      • You’ve got to be kidding…

        China’s thermal coal generation is truely massive, and the coal is mostly locally supplied.

        The idea they can generate 40-50% of their energy needs from wind is comic

      • “they have been devastated by 3 x1 in 1000 year floods this year”
        This says a lot about the quality/integrity of their civil engineers…

  2. Mining BoganMEMBER

    If they nuke Australia off the planet, do the emissions that were once spewed out here and no longer are counted as a factor towards zero for them?

    I think the LNP does something like that with land clearing.

    • Tbf the Labor state governments have been doing f all to stop it too so they are both tarred with the same brush.

  3. TheLambKingMEMBER

    I can’t see how Solar does not increase every year – it seems to be flat lining. Swansons Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanson%27s_law – Moore’s Law for PV) results in price dropping the price by 10% per year – which is much faster than wind. My money is on solar being a much greater component (China has a lot of desert)

  4. So by 2050, ~45% will be wind generated. I wonder what the footprint of all those wind farms would take up to achieve that?

    • They’re planning on setting up wind farms outside the Global Times and Foreign Ministry offices in Beijing, it’s going to be powered by all the hot air coming from their Wolf Wankers…

  5. Let me try again, in demurest language, as if addressing Climate Editor at Guardian or Conversation.

    Far from being robust or settled science, Net Zero appears to originate as a climate activists’ creed, not before 2013, Therefore, the key question is not at all, “How can China reach its Net Zero pledge?” The key question is, “What does Net Zero even mean, and is it too good to be true?”

    • TheLambKingMEMBER

      Far from being robust or settled science

      Because Science and the Scientific method somehow doesn’t work for climate science?

      “The Earth is warming, and humans are the cause of almost all of it” is settled, the evidence is beyond question. No matter how much money the fossil fuel industry spend trying to convince us otherwise!

      • Did I say earth wasn’t warming, humans weren’t the cause? Nope. But Net Zero implies we can have endless growth, plus war on the environment, and still save the planet, by 2050. That Emissions Reductions A are fungible with Negative Emissions B. That A can be successful to such a big extent, B will cancel out the “residue”. That a technical Net Zero will somehow contain global warming to 1.5C. When taken all together, this is a heroic set of assumptions.

        All I’m saying is, Australia should look under the bonnet. It shouldn’t just be a test of one’s religious purity, whereby one is “for” or “agin”, end of story. I repeat, Net Zero itself, should not be regarded as science itself. It’s not.

      • “Because Science and the Scientific method somehow doesn’t work for climate science?”

        ” The process of the scientific method involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
        The predictions of the climate scientists have failed repeatedly to be met. I am yet to see anyone explain how exactly to run an experiment to compare continuing fossil fuel use for the next 20 years compared with instant switch to renewables, there isn;t a spare earth to run the alternate case. So yes, climate science really doesn’t work very well with the scientific method, much like economics for very similar reasons.

          • By my logic huge swathes of particularly the social sciences are not very amenable to the scientific method and as such are far more disputed than the hard sciences much more amenable to small scale experimentation.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

            Edit: Anyone can build a model to reliably predict the past. You have to be a borderline idiot to not. If that model then fails to predict the future then you do not properly understand what is actually going on. Predictive Ability is the cornerstone of the scientific method.

          • By my logic huge swathes of particularly the social sciences are not very amenable to the scientific method and as such are far more disputed than the hard sciences much more amenable to small scale experimentation.

            Yes. The well known “soft sciences” of chemistry and physics underpinning climate change are not at all amenable to the Scientific Method.

            Anyone can build a model to reliably predict the past. You have to be a borderline idiot to not. If that model then fails to predict the future then you do not properly understand what is actually going on. Predictive Ability is the cornerstone of the scientific method.

            https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/even-50-year-old-climate-models-correctly-predicted-global-warming
            https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2943/study-confirms-climate-models-are-getting-future-warming-projections-right/

          • Ok smithy, lets really investigate your article link from before.
            Apparently in the last 50 or so years of climate science there have been 17 models developed and 14 of them have made accurate predictions. This is almost certainly a result of cherry picking and survivor bias, but lets take is an accepted fact.
            Are there 17 models of gravity 14 of which give correct predictions?
            17 models of how a transistor works?
            or how much strain steel can take before it breaks?
            or how much hydrogen needs to be mixed with oxygen for a complete burn?

            “Yes. The well known “soft sciences” of chemistry and physics underpinning climate change are not at all amenable to the Scientific Method.”
            Those same sciences underpin how humans work, so we clearly have perfect models predicting human behaviour, right?

          • Are there 17 models of gravity 14 of which give correct predictions?

            You know the theory of gravity we have today has undergone some… refinement… over time, right ?

            The rest of your examples are equally dumb.

            Your complaint appears to be the standard denialist rhetoric: “well, if you can’t tell me what the temperature will be at 2:07pm in 538 days on a specific island in Indonesia, then you obviously can’t predict anything about climate change”.

            Those same sciences underpin how humans work, so we clearly have perfect models predicting human behaviour, right?

            The only person here who is suggesting perfect models for anything, is you.

            To go back to the original point, the Scientific Method is doing an excellent job on Climate Change, as demonstrated by the accuracy of models created decades ago compared to actual data, and nothing coming even close to disproving it or providing an alternative theory. You would struggle to find another field of science in human history that has been as closely scrutinised, yet no major issues have been found and nobody has proposed any alternatives.

            It’s not perfect, but it never is.

          • No debate should go without a quote form Skeptical Sience: a super guide for arguing climate related science without comprehension of science. You know, like those books “An 1d1ots guide to why electricity actually flows from negative to positive, with coloured graphs and images”

            One thing sure, the fact that climate predictions are being adjusted constantly, year on year, will eventually bring us to the possibility to predict climate changes with a bit more precision than the shot fired from a shotgun. From 1 (one), not 17 models! You know, close to precision in weather forecast predictions. Some of us may not live to see that but life’s a bittch

  6. David WilsonMEMBER

    If we reduce CO2 to less than 150 ppm from its current 412 ppm all plant life and thus we humans will die.
    I understand that we breath in 412 ppm of CO2 and exhale 40,000ppm so perhaps we should start culling humans, can I suggest we start with the greens first.
    I also understand that increasing CO2 accelerates plant and crop growth so we will have more productive farms which is a good thing.
    I still ask the question, if there are 85,000 molecules in our atmosphere of which 33 are CO2 and we humans are responsible for just 1. Molecule of CO2 which is an odourless gas colourless gas why is it the cause of potential runaway global warming, answer, it isn’t.

    • #blah blah blah not science blah blah my personal opinion is equally as valid as the findings of climate scientists and other experts in the field blah blah blah#

      That’s honestly how your post reads.

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          Typical rubbish reply from someone that has not studied the science.

          No David, your emails shows you don’t have a grasp of the Science and somehow think you know enough to argue against peer reviewed Science done by people who do this for a living.

          You don’t seem to understand the concept of adding to a system that is in equilibrium. Take a bucket with a small leak, but is being filled with water at the same rate. The level of water stays the same. If we suddenly turn up the flow of water from the tap the bucket will fill up and the leak won’t cope with letting out of water. THIS is what we are doing with CO2. WE are adding more and more CO2 each year to a system that was in equilibrium. Yes, 1 molecule at a time – but we have been turning up the tap for over a hundred years now and the bucket is about to start spilling water over the floor!

          Ignore the plants. Ignore the CO2 that humans need and/or expel as part of breathing. That is just noise, distraction and FUD from the fossil fuel industry. The plants will be fine, some will adapt, some will thrive, some will die with the change in CO2. CO2 increases trap heat and will warm the planet at greater rates.

          • David WilsonMEMBER

            VX nerve gas, just more drivel from those that cannot make a valid argument to support their il informed reasoning

          • David WilsonMEMBER

            Radioactive forcing is more than a little questionable as the science tells us yes the first 100 ppm give us some temperature increase however ice over 200 ppm CO2 has little influence on temperature so much so if it increase fourfold to 1600ppm we may see a temperature increase of 0.2 degrees C.
            It is also well known that previous temperature changes including the recent ice age around 13000 years ago had nothing to do with CO2.
            Of course most of the so called science ignorant historical natural temperature changes and in the last 6000 years or so sea levels have been around 2 meters higher than today, humidity or moisture content of up to 4% is also ignored even though it causes cloud formation and rainfall which we know has a massive effect on temperatures and reflection of solar radiation..
            I do not argue that climate is not changing, it always has and will and yes we must curb massive pollution of our atmosphere however the CO2 argument has little foundation when compared with historical data over the millennia.

          • The proprietors of MB should feel insulted by this low standard of trolling, even if someone is paying for the subscription !

        • “Typical rubbish reply from someone that has not studied the science.”

          Thank you, I couldn’t have put it better myself. That’s a great synopsis of your postings.

    • If we reduce CO2 to less than 150 ppm from its current 412 ppm all plant life and thus we humans will die.

      Is anyone suggesting to reduce it to less than 150 ppm ?

      I understand that we breath in 412 ppm of CO2 and exhale 40,000ppm so perhaps we should start culling humans,

      https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/Non-Sequitur

      I also understand that increasing CO2 accelerates plant and crop growth so we will have more productive farms which is a good thing.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-experts-does-rising-co2-benefit-plants1/

      I still ask the question, if there are 85,000 molecules in our atmosphere of which 33 are CO2 and we humans are responsible for just 1. Molecule of CO2 which is an odourless gas colourless gas why is it the cause of potential runaway global warming, answer, it isn’t.

      10 milligrams of colourless, tasteless, odourless VX nerve agent is an even smaller percentage of your bodyweight. How could it possibly kill you ?

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        I understand that we breath in 412 ppm of CO2 and exhale 40,000ppm so perhaps we should start culling humans,

        https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/logicalfallacies/Non-Sequitur

        Very cunning – she/he is trying to use the Chewbacca Defence!
        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Chewbacca_Defense

        The Chewbacca Defense is any legal or propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience with nonsensical arguments, as a way of confusing the audience and drowning out legitimate opposing arguments. It also has, intentionally or unintentionally, the effect of confusing the opponent so that they will stop arguing with you. If they are too chicken to continue the argument, the point they are trying to argue must be equally flimsy, right? Right?

    • darkasthunderMEMBER

      Google ‘radiative forcing’ for an introduction to the greenhouse effect. Gases like CO2 and Methane are to varying degrees opaque to infrared, impeding solar energy from being re-radiated away from the earth.

    • darkasthunderMEMBER

      Google ‘radiative forcing’ for an introduction to the greenhouse effect. Gases like CO2 and Methane are to varying degrees opaque to infrared, impeding solar energy from being re-radiated away from the earth.