The costs for solar, wind and battery storage have dropped markedly since 2010 and are expected to decline further in the near future. This rapid fall in costs could have a large effect on energy system investment and policies, but has not been fully captured in energy modelling. This is particularly relevant for China, which is now debating whether to build hundreds of new coal-fired power plants in the 2020s, despite overcapacity and financial distress in the sector. In a new study, published in Nature Communications, we worked with my colleagues to explore the implications of clean-energy cost trends for the electricity system in China over the next decade. We found that if China uses the most cost-effective renewable energy resources, it could generate more than 60% of its electricity from “non-fossil” sources by 2030 – including wind, solar, hydro and nuclear – at a cost that is around 10% lower than under business-as-usual. This cleaner electricity mix would still reliably meet rising demand. This suggests China could raise its target to get 50% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030, while saving money.
Carbon Brief 3rd June 2020 read more »
China has big plans for the nation’s nuclear energy sector. While the nuclear energy targets set by Beijing have been massively delayed, the nation is still on track to take over the global nuclear energy industry over the next ten years. While the devastating spread of COVID-19 in China starting late last year has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the country’s energy industry ambitions, however, the biggest setbacks for the Chinese nuclear energy industry can actually be attributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that took place in Japan in 2011, which has made it far more difficult and time-intensive to approve new atomic energy projects. A three-year freeze on new nuclear plant approvals only just ended last year, which “has thinned the pipeline for this decade, according to BloombergNEF’s lead nuclear analyst, Chris Gadomski.”
Oil Price 3rd June 2020 read more »
Air pollution in China has risen above the levels measured in the same 30-day period last year, according to new data. Air pollutant levels dropped dramatically in February when China was under strict lock down measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and reached its lowest levels in March. As restrictions eased, and travel and industry resumed, air pollution is now overtaking the levels prior to the pandemic.
Independent 3rd June 2020 read more »