Re­new­able En­ergy Be­comes an In­evitable Choice for Global “En­ergy Trans­for­ma­tion”

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Special Report - By Zhao Yongqiang

As is­sues re­lated to sus­tain­able d e v e l o p m e nt s u c h a s en­sur­ing en­ergy re­sources are sus­tain­able, pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, and ad­dress­ing cli­mate change raise more and more con­cerns around the world, ac­cel­er­at­ing the de­vel­op­ment and uti­liza­tion of re­new­able en­ergy is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in de­mand. Many de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries have put for­ward goals for this progress, and de­ployed key sec­tors for re­new­able en­ergy. Even Canada, Aus­tralia, the Mid­dle East and North African coun­tries, which are tra­di­tion­ally rich in fos­sil fuel re­sources, have dis­played an am­bi­tion in re­new­able en­ergy, fo­cus­ing on so­lar and other new en­ergy sources, to re­duce the de­pen­dency on fos­sil fu­els. Re­new­able en­ergy is there­fore be­com­ing a fun­da­men­tal trend for global en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion. Ac­cel­er­ated de­vel­op­ment of new en­ergy

Europe is pi­o­neer­ing the con­struc­tion of low- car­bon, clean and sus­tain­able en­ergy sys­tems. The EU has for­mu­lated en­ergy de­vel­op­ment goals, namely rais­ing the pro­por­tion of re­new­able en­ergy in en­ergy con­sump­tion to 20% by 2020, and 27% by 2030, while also guid­ing mem­ber coun­tries to strengthen the de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able en­ergy by quan­ti­ta­tive in­di­ca­tors. Den­mark has pro­posed to have zero fos­sil fuel use by 2050, and Ger­many has is­sued a strate­gic new en­ergy de­vel­op­ment plan, say­ing that new en­ergy will ac­count for 60% of en­ergy con­sump­tion by 2050, and 80% of elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion.

The United States has been sup- port­ing the com­pre­hen­sive and largescale ap­pli­ca­tion of var­i­ous re­new­able en­er­gies for a sub­stan­tial amount of time as well. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) ap­proved in 2015 re­quires the US elec­tric­ity in­dus­try to re­duce car­bon emis­sions in 2030 by 32%. Other poli­cies the United States im­ple­mented for re­new­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ment in­clude the fed­eral pro­duc­tion tax credit (PTC), in­vest­ment tax credit ( ITC) and the cash sub­sidy mea­sure in 2009 Eco­nomic Stim­u­lus Act. In ad­di­tion, about 29 states have im­ple­mented re­new­able en­ergy mar­ket share pol­icy (RPS), al­low­ing re­new­able en­ergy com­pa­nies to ben­e­fit from sell­ing re­new­able en­ergy cer­tifi­cates (REC).

China is steadily grow­ing to be a ma­jor player in global re­new­able en­ergy mar­ket. In 2015, China promised that by 2030, its green­house gas emis­sions would be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced, and its pro­por­tion of non-fos­sil en­ergy in pri­mary en­ergy con­sump­tion would rise to 20%. By con­tin­u­ously de­vel­op­ing sup-

portive poli­cies for re­new­able en­ergy re­sources such as wind power, pho­to­voltaic en­ergy, so­lar power and heat uti­liza­tion, China aims to main­tain the largest growth rate for gloabl re­new­able en­ergy mar­ket.

Emerg­ing economies and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are also fo­cus­ing on re­new­able en­ergy. With the world’s sec­ond largest pop­u­la­tion, and be­ing a ma­jor en­ergy con­sumer, In­dia is ac­cel­er­at­ing its de­vel­op­ment of so­lar en­ergy uti­liza­tion, aim­ing for so­lar power in­stalled ca­pac­ity to reach 100 mil­lion kilo­watts, wind power in­stalled ca­pac­ity reached 150 mil­lion kilo­watts, all by 2027. UAE, Saudi Ara­bia and other tra­di­tional oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries are also in­creas­ing their em­pha­sis on the de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able en­ergy. The United Arab Emirates plans to build a city that re­lies en­tirely on re­new­able en­ergy by 2025. Re­new­able en­ergy is also an im­por­tant way to ad­dress the short­age of mod­ern en­ergy in Africa. Var­i­ous re­new­able en­er­gies be­gin scale ap­pli­ca­tion

Hy­dropower, wind power, and so­lar power are presently the best al­ter­na­tives for fu­ture en­ergy con­sump­tion in or­der to re­duce car­bon emis­sions, while biomass en­ergy and geo­ther­mal en­ergy are grow­ing as im­por­tant re­new­able en­ergy sources.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the Re­new­able En­ergy Pol­icy Net­work for the 21st Cen­tury (REN21), in 2015 re­new­able en­ergy met about 19.2% of global en­ergy de­mands (10.3% by mod­ern­ized re­new­able en­ergy and 8.9% by tra­di­tional biomass en­ergy), and elec­tric en­ergy pro­duc­tion from re­new­able en­ergy ac­counted for 23.7% of the world’s to­tal power gen­er­a­tion, with 16.6% con­trib­uted by hy­dropower. Wind power and so­lar power marked the largest growth.

Wind power is fast be­com­ing the most pop­u­lar in­vest­ment. In 2015, the global wind power mar­ket grew by 63 mil­lion kw, with the cu­mu­la­tive in­stalled ca­pac­ity ris­ing to 433 mil­lion kw. Wind power ac­counts for more than 3.2% of global elec­tric­ity sup­plies, and 45% and 13% of elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion in Den­mark and Ger­many re­spec­tively. The ra­tio for the EU as a whole has topped 10%, mak­ing it one of the main wind power sup­plies. In re­cent years, Asia was steadily grow­ing its wind power mar­ket, while the Latin Amer­i­can mar­ket also rapidly ex­panded.

Scale de­vel­op­ment projects for so­lar power are grow­ing around the world, mak­ing so­lar power en­ergy an in­dus­try with some of the great­est growth rate and po­ten­tial. In 2015, the new in­stalled ca­pac­ity of pho­to­voltaic en­ergy was about 50 mil­lion kw, and the cu­mu­la­tive in­stalled ca­pac­ity reached 227 mil­lion kw. The con­tri­bu­tion of so­lar pho­to­voltaic en­ergy to the global elec­tric­ity sup­ply has topped 1%, and ac­counts for 3.5% of the EU’S to­tal elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion. The Mid­dle East and Latin Amer­i­can mar­kets are be­gin­ning to lead the de­vel­op­ment of PV mar­ket, while more and more African coun­tries are en­ter­ing this sec­tor. Re­new­able en­ergy will pro­vide a new strat­egy for the mod­ern­iza­tion of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries

Dur­ing the Paris Cli­mate Con­fer­ence (COP21) at the end of 2015, 196 coun­tries and re­gions reached the his­toric Paris Agree­ment, and es­tab­lished an im­por­tant ob­jec­tive for cli­mate change ac­tion, aim­ing at lim­it­ing the tem­per­a­ture rise to no more than 2 de­grees Cel­sius (with a strong fo­cus on reach­ing only 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius) per year. Par­tic­i­pants agreed to im­me­di­ately mea­sure peak car­bon emis­sions, and re­al­ize zero green­house gas emis­sions in the later half of this cen­tury. It is widely be­lieved that re­new­able en­ergy tech­nol­ogy is the key to low-car­bon en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion, and will be­come a com­mon prac­tice in or­der to solve cur­rent eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems.

Though de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are fac­ing the same chal­lenges for green and low-car­bon en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion, de­vel­op­ing coun­tries can sup­port in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and ur­ban­iza­tion through a re­new­able en­ergy-based en­ergy sys­tem, and find a sus­tain­able way to pro­mote their mod­ern­iza­tion. En­ergy con­sump­tion of de­vel­oped coun­tries in North Amer­ica and Europe is sta­bi­liz­ing, and largescale power and en­ergy con­struc­tions have been com­pleted, while many coal and nu­clear power units are be­com­ing obsolete, mean­ing re­new­able en­ergy sys­tem will quickly re­place ex­ist­ing coal, nu­clear and even nat­u­ral gas power gen­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties, com­ple­ment­ing and op­ti­miz­ing ex­ist­ing en­ergy sys­tem in­fra­struc­tures.

At the same time, more and more de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are em­brac­ing an ac­cel­er­ated in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and ur­ban­iza­tion process. Fac­ing the chal­lenges of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion and cli­mate change, they can no longer rely on coal, oil or other high-car­bon fos­sil en­ergy based en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion, and must in­stead strengthen the re­stric­tions on high car­bon fos­sil en­er­gies, and en­sure en­ergy se­cu­rity through a clean low-car­bon re­new­able en­ergy sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.