Unlocking the ways to meet China's carbon emissions goal
China has a workable path toward making a huge head start on its long-term climate pledges by ensuring that essentially all new power generating capacity added going forward is zero-carbon, a new analysis argues.
Driving the news: The report out today offers what authors call a technically and economically feasible roadmap for transforming China's power sector over the next 10 years.
It's from the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is a clean energy think tank, and the Energy Transitions Commission, a coalition that brings together corporate heavyweights and NGOs.
By the numbers: China has recently pledged to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2060 and have its emissions peak before 2030.
The report says the roadmap on electricity in particular between now and 2030 would involve...
- Electricity generation growing by 54% as demand grows and China works to electrify more of the economy to help curb emissions.
- No new coal-fired capacity is added, while combined onshore wind and solar capacity would rise from 408 gigawatts in 2019 to roughly 1,650 GW in 2030.
- There are smaller increases in hydro, nuclear, gas and offshore wind capacity additions.
- Total non-fossil generation is 53% of the country's total by then in the roadmap aligned with fully decarbonized power by 2050.
Why it matters: China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter. So there's lots of interest in whether the country will translate its broad pledges into sweeping on-the-ground changes to its energy systems — and how that can happen.
The bottom line: One key finding is the technical challenges of having immensely larger amounts of variable renewables on China's grids are real but solvable.
- It lays out ideas around improvements in forecasting and data management, voltage control and more.