November 14, 2007

China taking leadership in renewable power deployment

Worldwatch indicates that China will likely achieve—and may even exceed—its target to obtain 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. If China’s commitment to diversifying its energy supply and becoming a global leader in renewables manufacturing persists, renewable energy could provide over 30 percent of the nation’s energy by 2050.

China’s carbon dioxide emissions are on the rise and are expected to exceed total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions shortly, although Chinese per-capita emissions remain about one-sixth those of the United States.

More than $50 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide in 2006, and China is expected to invest over $10 billion in new renewables capacity in 2007, second only to Germany. Wind and solar energy are expanding particularly rapidly in China, with production of wind turbines and solar cells both doubling in 2006. China is poised to pass world solar and wind manufacturing leaders in Europe, Japan, and North America in the next three years, and it already dominates the markets for solar hot water and small hydropower.

A combination of ambitious targets supported by strong government policies and the manufacturing prowess of the Chinese may enable China to “leapfrog” so-called industrialized nations in renewable technology in the years immediately ahead

The article indicates that nuclear energy could provide about 5% of china's power needs. I think that target will be reached in 2020 (with 50-70 GW of nuclear power). I think China will exceed that percentage with around 100 more nuclear plants from 2020-2030 (up to 10-15% of electricity) and then 200-400 more nuclear plants from 2030-2050 (up to 30-40% of electricity.

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