Many states are appreciating the critical role played by adopting the use of clean energy in running the country. China is no exception. The country has embarked on a policy of reducing absolute carbon emissions in favor of renewable sources of energy. This is in its goal of enhancing energy security and arresting climate change.
Dirty Energy in China
China has some worrying statistics concerning the use of clean energy. World conservationists have noted with concern that in every ten days, China builds a coal-fired power station. In fact, a whooping 75 % of China’s dirty energy has its origins in the use of coal. Analysts says that China alone produces more pollution from coal than other countries combined.
One of the greatest polluters of Chinese and global environment is Jizhong Energy Resources. It comprises of six complex coal mines and related facilities. The company which is located in the dirtiest city in China, Xingtai, has the worst air quality and environmental degradation of all Chinese towns.
Kingboard Chemicals Holdings is a coal and chemicals factory that has been on the wrong side of the law for its major polluting effect. One of the tactics the company was utilizing was polluting more at night in order to avoid being detected. The company had to respond to the problem of pollution due to pressure from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, China.
It is the people that suffer.
The impact of such pollution include the following degraded soil and poor air quality. The World Bank notes that such events lead to increased use of lung diseases. The World Health Organization notes that 350,000 to 500, 000 people in China meet premature death every year due to air pollution.
Clean Energy in China and the Clean Energy Revolution
Top Chinese officials have hinted that China is making bold steps to achieve peak greenhouse gas emissions. The term peak pollution refers to the stage at which a developing economy may cut down on its energy emissions without affecting its developing efforts and capacity.
The following is a summary of China’s use of energy resources: 82 % fossil fuels and 8 % non-fossil fuels, $ 12.2 billion dollar investment in solar energy in 2014, renewed investment in nuclear energy despite the accident in Fukushima, Japan, and the country has surpassed Germany as the world leader in solar power installation.
States, in their energy policy, usually have a target on the timeline by which they intend to exclusively use clean energy. China has also put in place a roadmap to significant amount of clean energy. By the year 2020, China wants to achieve a 20 per cent use of clean energy by the year 2030 from the current 8 %.
In this regard, China has initiated big renewable energy projects in order to make its goals realistic.
For example, SunPower Corporation announced that it would partner with Apple to build two major renewable projects in China. The project will serve a dual purpose. It will provide the much needed renewable solar energy and by extension protect the ecosystem. In particular, pasture farming can go on as power is being continuously generated.
In the year 2009, China announced that it would construct the biggest photovoltaic power plant in the Mongolian dessert. The contract stated that the plant would produce 2000 MW. The company that won the contract was First Solar. Again, the project was a dual purpose initiative;to provide solar energy and provide employment to the locals.
The road to clean energy is long and full of obstacles. China has admitted that the goal of achieving the use of clean energy is quiet an ambitions task bearing in mind the needs of its domestic economy. But it has sought more time and made a more realistic clean energy blueprint. A few states have been skeptical about China’s pledge in going green, but the work on the ground shows a country that is ready shun its dirty energy practices in favor of a solid clean energy policy.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.