In the past few weeks different news from China made me feel hopeful for our common climate and civilization. Indeed, the country’s coal consumption has started to decrease, with a 2.9 percent cut in 2014.
RTCC has more about this :
Energy use rose 2.2% with gas use up 8.6% and crude oil up 5.9%. Energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (US $1,598) worth of GDP fell 4.8%.
Over the same time period the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.4%, with industrial production rising 7%.
Glen Peters from the Oslo-based Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) told RTCC this data suggested China’s CO2 for 2014 could have fallen by 0.7%.
This is a promising start and it could accelerate if the local population starts taking action. Recently a documentary on air pollution was viewed over a hudred million times in the country.
As the Climate Group reported :
“The phenomenal interest in this documentary is of critical importance in China today, since it represents how much people care about the environment and also the collective urgency to find solutions.
The moment of the release of the documentary is also critical. Right before the commencement of the National People’s Congress, the public response to this documentary signals to China’s lawmakers that they demand much improved environmental quality and protection of their health.
Yes, this is some big news. But I kept the best for the end as China could be powered by 85 percent renewables by 2050. You read that right.
Climate Progress presents some details :
China could get 85 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2050, according to the China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study, a nongovernmental report by Energy Foundation China.
Reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, particularly coal, is both technically and economically possible, the report found. In fact, non-fossil fuel sources could account for 91 percent of China’s total power generation, a scenario in which coal-fired power generation would drop from 75 percent to less than 7 percent, without sacrificing reliability. Wind and solar would be China’s “backbone” energy sources.
(…) “What do they have at home that they can ramp up very fast? Solar and wind,” Hart told ThinkProgress. “It’s important to realize this study is aspirational, but, at the same time, what China has done over the past 10 to 20 years is to take things that seem aspirational and impossible, and not only do those things but go well beyond.
Powering the world by renewables by mid-century is totally feasible. We have read previously that it could be done in the European Union, the United States, India and many others. Now comes a study that shows it could be done in the world’s biggest energy consumer.
Our future is bright if we work for it to happen.