- Swift expansion of renewables raises climate hopes
- Arbitrary arrests of minorities in Xinjiang
- Authorities consider extension of EV subsidies
- Municipalities divert money from poverty funds for Covid tests
- EU-Taiwan talks receive new priority
- New type of energy storage soon operational
- Casino mogul Steve Wynn – a Chinese lobbyist?
- Profile: Elisabeth Kaske knows her way around China’s history
This week bears good news for climate change mitigation from China. A group of renowned energy analysts has found, based on Beijing’s ambitious renewable energy expansion programs, that China could reach the peak of its carbon emissions earlier than envisaged in its own climate targets. Instead of 2030, the peak could already be reached in 2025. However, provided that energy consumption does not rise faster than previously predicted. Nico Beckert analyzes which other hurdles China still has to overcome. Since China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, the success of the country’s climate measures is important for all of us.
China is building many of its gigantic wind and solar farms in Xinjiang – a region that otherwise mainly produces bad headlines. For years, reports have been mounting that up to one million Uyghurs and members of other minorities are being detained in re-education and sinicization camps on Beijing’s orders. It now becomes clear that many have either been detained under kin punishment or out of mere arbitrariness. Marcel Grzanna has taken a closer look at a leaked list outlining reasons for internment.
By the way, it is said that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will “soon” be permitted to tour Xinjiang. It remains to be seen whether the former Chilean president will be able to gain a halfway credible picture of the situation.
Experts: emissions peak possible by 2025
Simultaneously the largest consumer of coal and the biggest investor in renewable energies – China’s energy policy is ambivalent. The People’s Republic consumes by far the most coal in the world. But China is also expanding renewable energies faster than any other country. In 2020 and 2021 alone, China will have installed three times more solar and wind power plants than the USA or the EU.
And it seems the People’s Republic could maintain its pace. If all provincial and central government projects are implemented, China will possess about 1,200 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2026. This is according to a new analysis by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). These 1,200 gigawatts would more than double the capacity available at the end of 2020.
Renewables can meet additional power demand
Renewables are a key pillar for China to achieve its 30/60 climate targets: Emissions are to peak by 2030 – and fall from there. By 2060, the People’s Republic plans to achieve carbon neutrality. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in transport, industrial and heating sectors have to be replaced by renewable energy sources. According to Lauri Myllyvirta, China expert at CREA, the expansion of renewables could happen so fast that the additional power demand of the coming years could be completely covered by clean energy sources.
- Climate targets
- Renewable energies
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