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Renewable Energy Vital for China’s Green Development

CHINA TODAY,September 04, 2017 Adjust font size:

Embracing Changes with Courage

Using clean energy has been on the rise in China in recent years as the nation stresses more on an integrated economic growth of quantity, quality, and efficiency. The decreasing consumption of coal is driving down the country’s CO2 emissions, which at the same time is a positive factor for the world’s CO2 emissions to stay stable at present.  

“In the past 10 years, the proportion of renewable energy in power generation has surpassed 25 percent and electricity has accounted for nearly 21 percent of energy consumption in China,” Shu Yinbiao proudly gave the figures. But he also noted that China still has a long way to go to shift its traditional energy mix so that renewable energy will eventually account for 50 percent or more – a key indicator of a successful energy transition.

On the way up, China’s energy consumption will unavoidably increase for the sake of economic growth and improvement of people’s life. Therefore, it is an urgent and weighty mission for the country to realize a clean energy transition.“After the U.S. departure from the Paris Agreement, in particular, China is going to take on a more active role in reducing global carbon emissions. Meanwhile, greater attention from the international community may be given to China’s policies and moves in this regard,” Lin Boqiang, head of China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, made the remark. At the forum’s opening ceremony on June 27, 2017, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlighted that China will honor its commitments under the Paris Agreement and carry out climate response measures on the ground, as this is required for the nation’s green development.

Energy enterprises in China spare no efforts to cater to new requirements. Take SGCC for example, it is determined to upgrade the traditional power grid into a modern system which is not only smart, interactive and resilient, but also safe and controllable. Although the transition to clean energy might at first be painful, Wan Gang called for energy companies to embrace changes with courage. Lin Boqiang agreed with this view and advised companies to be open to new technologies since technological advancement is always the foundation of an enterprise’s development.“Extensive participation of technology innovation demands both tolerance from the society and enhanced support from the government,” Lin added.

As Wan Gang observed, energy transition is closely linked to everyone’s living needs. While connecting the upgrade of traditional industries and the advancement of new technologies, the shift of energy mix sets up a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation to benefit the society as a whole. Widely popularizing the concept of renewable energy was stressed as well by Charlotte Roule, CEO of ENGIE China, ENGIE Group.“It is necessary to raise people’s awareness when carrying out energy transition,” she stated at the forum.“All societies should work hand in hand to encourage technology innovation,” Liu Dashan explained from an entrepreneur’s perspective.“Environmental protection is a public drive. Due to its requirement for long-term investment and lower returns, it demands the concerted effort of the whole society to advance the development of new technology.”

“Today, some solutions have been devised to make clean energy more affordable, pushing forward stepping out of coal,” said Charlotte Roule, whose positive attitude showed the confidence we need when faced with energy transition. With unceasing breakthroughs in technology, cost, and policy, clean energy in China is believed to have a promising future. Moreover, the Belt and Road Initiative will further foster the flow of clean technologies across borders to share the models that have proven to be successful throughout the world.  

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