A major Asian utility to decrease its CO2 emissions


According to the IHT, one of the major electricity producers in Asia – The CLP Group – committed itself to decreasing its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75 percent by 2050.

The company will use each and every necessary means to do so : renewable energies, carbon capture and storage, clean coal technologies and yes, nuclear.

This occurs during the Bali talks and it is another strong signal. People and companies alike are willing to decrease CO2 emissions, we now need governments to act too !

According to the press release by the CLP Group :

CLP Group has announced its commitment to a comprehensive climate change strategy, including an ambitious target to reduce the carbon intensity of its power generation portfolio by 75% by 2050.

Separately, the Group today also announced it is close to meeting its 2010 renewable energy target of 5%, which was set in 2004, following agreement to develop another wind energy project in India.

(…)

The CLP Group is one of the largest investor-owned power businesses in Asia Pacific region and its generation portfolio includes coal, gas, nuclear, wind, hydro and biomass generation.

Releasing the Group’s climate change manifesto today, CLP Chief Executive Officer, Mr Andrew Brandler, said: “Our target will lead to the saving of millions of tonnes of carbon emissions between now and 2050.It is a major departure from business as usual, which will require an entirely different view of our business and our facilities.”

To achieve the deep cuts necessary to reach its CO2 emissions intensity target of 0.2 kilograms of CO2 per kilowatt hour by 2050, which is equivalent to a 75% reduction in its current intensity, CLP’s Manifesto on Climate Change includes intermediate targets and a range of specific initiatives. The Group’s current carbon emissions intensity is 0.84 kg/kWh.

(…)

The initiatives that CLP will undertake to reach these goals include:

• Increasing the non-carbon emitting power generation capacity to 20% of the total by 2020. This includes nuclear, large hydro, and more than 5% of other renewable energy.
• Not building any new conventional coal-fired power stations in Hong Kong or developed countries.
• Planning, on a country-by-country basis, a transition from conventional coal to more climate friendly fuels or technologies.
• Investment in more gas-fired generation.
• Increasing investment in energy efficiency.

(…)

CLP intended to be at the forefront of adopting emerging technologies which will allow the Group to maximize the efficiency of its plants and reduce its carbon emissions.

CLP’s Manifesto includes a call for urgent action for a new post-Kyoto framework that will help drive a reduction in carbon emissions by establishing effective and enforceable international agreements and structures and allow developing nations to meet their growing energy needs, without undermining the living standards achieved in the developed world.

This is good news but yet by reading the above press release, some questions pop up to my mind.

(image right depicts Asia with Africa on the left hand side of the image. One can recognize the Indian Continent and Australia on the right hand side. Copyright Google Earth.)

As the International Herald Tribune states it :

The company’s plan is less ambitious than those of some utilities in Japan and France, which have set much lower emissions targets and already rely heavily on nuclear energy, which produces practically no global-warming gases.

Setting its limit only in terms of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of electricity also means that CLP is not committing itself to reducing its total carbon output, or limiting the amount of electricity it generates.

(…)

A CLP spokesman, Carl Kitchen, said the company was not limiting its overall emissions because it operates in rapidly growing electricity markets and does not want to limit its options.

Here lies the problem…

cfl.jpgIndeed, the energy demand rises so rapidly in India and China that it is preposterous to think about decreasing the overall carbon dioxide emissions without large scale campaigns of energy efficiency or important behavioural changes.

If CPL decreased the greenhouse gases emissions per kilowattt by four and the demand multiplies by four, the emissions will remain the same.

Let’s hope that governments of this region – and as a matter of fact worldwide – will seriously and rapidly think and act on these solutions as they are truly and undoubtedly the keys of climate change mitigation.

I am preparing an article on what I regard as behavioural changes. It is a very different concept regarding to energy conservation per se, yet it is an equally powerful mean to cut greenhouse gases emissions worldwide.

So for this, and much more, stay tuned !

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