China’s New Energy Plan Forecasts Big Rise In CO2 Emissions

By Paul Homewood

News from Enerdata that China has published a new Energy Development Strategy Action Plan (2014-2020), presumably following on from the US-China agreement last week.

The State Council of China has unveiled a new Energy Development Strategy Action Plan (2014-2020) focusing on the development of renewables and capping primary energy consumption at 4.8 Gtce/year until 2020, i.e. limiting the primary energy consumption growth rate to 3.5%/year until 2020. China aims to limit coal consumption to 4.2 Gt/year until 2020, a 16% increase over the 2013 consumption level of 3.6 Gt. China will also target a reduction of coal in the primary energy mix to under 62% by 2020, to the advantage of non-fossil fuels (15% by 2020 and 20% by 2030, from about 10% in 2013) and gas (10% by 2020). By 2020, the installed nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 58 GW, with an additional 30 GW under construction; inland nuclear power projects will be studied, while the construction of nuclear reactors on coastal areas will begin “at a proper time”. China targets an installed hydropower capacity of 350 GW by 2020, with wind and solar capacities reaching 200 GW and 100 GW respectively. Shale gas and coalbed methane production should reach 30 bcm by 2020 and the energy self-sufficiency rate will be boosted to about 85%.

http://www.enerdata.net/enerdatauk/press-and-publication/energy-news-001/china-unveils-new-energy-strategy-capping-annual-coal-consumption_30723.html

A number of things stand out here:

 

1) Capping primary energy consumption at 4.8 Gtce/year until 2020

This refers to “Gigatonnes Carbon Equivalent”. Provisional figures for 2013, from CDIAC, give carbon emissions as 2.7Gtce, so China are allowing themselves a substantial amount of headroom to continue growing emissions.

There should be no surprise here. As I pointed out a year ago, China’s promise to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP were actually likely to lead to a doubling of emissions, dependent on economic growth.

As their commitment is to peak emissions by 2030, we can expect the figure of 4.8Gtce to continue to rise through the 2020’s.

2) China aims to limit coal consumption to 4.2 Gt/year until 2020, a 16% increase over the 2013 consumption level of 3.6 Gt

No sign of any cuts in coal use then.

3) China will also target a reduction of coal in the primary energy mix to under 62% by 2020

While the proportion of coal within the overall mix is forecast to decline from 69% in 2011, the actual amount used will increase, as total energy consumption rises.

4) By 2020, the installed nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 58 GW, with an additional 30 GW under construction; inland nuclear power projects will be studied, while the construction of nuclear reactors on coastal areas will begin “at a proper time”. China targets an installed hydropower capacity of 350 GW by 2020, with wind and solar capacities reaching 200 GW and 100 GW respectively.

Although China has promised to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in the energy mix to 20% by 2030. what is less well known is that hydro and other non-fossil fuels were already contributing 8% in 2011, according to the EIA, or approximately 20% of electricity output. This figure will have grown since then, with extra hydro coming on stream. It is likely that non-fossil sources will be supplying around 10% by the end of this year.

Moreover, with new nuclear and hydro capacity already under construction or with planning approved, electricity generation from nuclear and hydro will likely more than triple from 772 TWh in 2011 to around 2500 TWh by 2025.

None of this increase in capacity is happening as a result of any agreement with Obama. Instead it has been planned for several years.

It also needs to be pointed out that China’s massive switch to hydro power has had highly damaging side effects, such as the displacement of as many as 23 million people, according to figures from the International Business Times.

5) Wind and solar reaching 200 GW and 100 GW by 2020

Capacities were 75 GW and 3GW respectively in 2013. In terms of output, by 2020 wind/solar should be supplying around 500 TWh pa, about 10% of China’s electricity needs. Nothing fantastic there then, and certainly nothing approaching UK targets.

Perhaps the real story behind all of this is that China will continue to consume ever greater amounts of energy, as its economy continues to grow, something that won’t stop any time soon.

The EIA show how this will carry on growing even after 2030, and how the use of fossil fuels will carry on growing in the meantime.

China-electricity-forecastSource: http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=CH

 

The idea that China’s CO2 emissions will drop below today’s levels in my lifetime is sheer fantasy.

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66 thoughts on “China’s New Energy Plan Forecasts Big Rise In CO2 Emissions

  1. Well, after what those Google Engineers were saying, any renewable energy source is going to use more CO2

      • If we’re allowing racism let me use my least PC joke.
        Why is Lieutenant Uhura brown?
        Because… [yeah .. lettuce shred that. 8<) .mod]

      • Harrumph. You let Stephen Richards be scatological.
        Ruddy Mods. I’m going down the garden to eat worms.
        [Reasonable action. After all, scatologically speaking, worms (and pandas) eat shoots and leave scatological reminders behind to fertilize the garden for others. .mod]

      • The question I always wondered was — what was Lieutenant Uhura’s first name in the original Star Trek? I don’t think it was ever mentioned…

  2. China knows how to play the game so that they wind up doing what they would do anyway. They also played Obama like a superb Chinese violin.

    • Actually it was Obama trying to play those in the brainwashed trans into believing that this absurd so called commitment was something more than him trying to pretend that China is on board with his ruinous policies based on a greatly beneficial gas being pollution.

      • Funny how it’s only the Democrats who fall for the Grubers. What does it say about their supposedly “superior” intellect?

  3. They are going to double coal consumption while the US reduces it by the same amount. And destroy what is left of our industrial base and make US products even more expensive and Chinese, cheaper to export.
    And all this fits in the Chinese 50 year plan to destroy the US economy hatched back in 1986.

    • Which way? The Chinese or the U.S? Despite our green talking, we are adding more CO2 to the air, 1 or two 2% each year.
      The next atomic power plant will be shut down in some months, but new coal/lignite power plants are added. The Energy Minister says we cannot let coal. And the economy is more important than climate. Renewable Energy producers have to pay fees for their self-used electricity. The subsidies for RE are cut down to small margins. In Bavaria distances from Wind turbines to living areas are increased, so that only 1% of the state are is left of use for them. Even against power lines from the North sea to the south there is a big movement in the population. And now even fracking is possible – under certain restrictions.
      But it’s not openly discussed as as new strategy. In the Media you hear only details.
      But what I see: The government has changed its mind, but cannot make a 180° turn. So the do it when an opportunity arises, in small steps.

  4. “None of this increase in capacity is happening as a result of any agreement with Obama. Instead it has been planned for several years.”
    OK, but is there any evidence that the agreement with Obama is going to result in an actual decrease in capacity from what China has had planned for several years? If not, then the agreement is worthless. It might as well have been written up by Jonathan Gruber to fool the stupid public into believing that actual progress is being made in the fight against climate change.

    • “It might as well have been written up by Jonathan Gruber to fool the stupid public into believing that actual progress is being made in the fight against climate change.”
      That would be my guess.

      • Yes, they agreed to far more CO2 emissions, and they will do just that. BTW, I doubt they will complete all those “planned” wind projects, unless they get international support, deals, trade agreements, etc for them. (The western tax payers pay for them)

  5. So, if energy production is capped at a specific level, who decides who freezes to death when the cap is reached?
    If the annual demand for energy increases, would not that indicate a growing economy? Who decides which users are eliminated?
    Since coal came from organic vegetation that thrived on high CO2 levels, why would we not want to increase CO2 levels to promote life?

  6. The graph shows electricity generation, but primary energy use and CO2 emissions are not projected to grow as much, though of course still increasing due to economic growth. However, with new technologies (yet to come on line), a pledge of peaking emissions by 2030 (not accounted for here), and a desperate need to do something about air pollution VERY SOON (or else we will see a rising environmental movement in China), I’m hopeful these projected levels will not be realized.

    • Barry,
      Good luck on a “rising” in China. You must have forgotten how the Chinese government deals with “rise-up” types.
      It is with such a government that our poor, dumb, sock puppet of a Poohtus makes his “save-the-world”
      CO2 deals. Anyone can measure all of this for what it is worth.

    • Barry, I put this comment about Chinese air pollution (inspired by you) on the last thread but it seems more relevant here.
      Curiously the Umayads solved the problem a 1000 years ago.
      But for cities of a modern scale they will need electricity to power desalination plants.
      And then fountains.
      Lots and lots of huge fountains as tall as sky-scrapers, scrubbing the air of dust and SOx and NOx.
      It won’t be cheap to turn Beijing into Rivendell but the Rainbow City would have breathable air.

  7. Presumably, this announcement was deliberately deferred in order to spare Obama’s blushes.
    Alternatively, it was brought forward out of spite in order to once more demonstrate his naivety and gullibility in just about everything

  8. Well, anyone with an IQ over 50 knew the big climate deal Obama announced with the Chinese was grubered. Look how many on the left took the deal uncritically at face value- surely they know it was BS, but had to lie because they know the purpose never was to reduce overall emissions, only to reduce those of the US.

  9. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. Both sides intend to continue to work to increase ambition over time.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/11/us-china-joint-announcement-climate-change
    I see on the chart that coal, oil and natural gas for electricity production are all climbing after 2030. And 2030 is just 15 years from now.

  10. China is planning for and protecting their economic self-interest. What a revelation, who knew…
    Well I know who still does not know, those that believe the climate change pablum coming from the White House.

  11. The only news here is that alarmists are more desperate for support than we realized: their fervent excitement about the non-agreement is akin to the emotions of those left standing on the deck of the Titanic being told that the rate of sinking has dropped.
    Funny that the important word “about” keeps disappearing from discussion (even in this post). China agreed to cap its emissions at “about 2030”. What does this mean to a 5000 year-old culture (whose populace venerates such age, not its content)? Is 2050 “about” 2030 to a group who think in terms of generations (recall the one-child policy?)? Maybe 2080 is also “about” 2030.
    China will do what it wants as it wants when it wants: it has a hatred for the colonialist attitude of the world. China was forced repeatedly to do as it was told for at least 150 of the last 200 years. It ain’t doing so any more. If the US or Britain say it “has” to cut coal-plant CO2, that is enough for China to think that coal-plant energy is in its interest but not that of the USA and Europe, and so should INCREASE coal-plant energy (and therefore emissions).
    China will do nothing for at least another generation that is not directly in China’s in-the-moment interests. A stronger China controls its future as well as current moment, and protects itself from its past, present and probable future enemies (including internal ones). A weaker non-China world strengthens China, as force overcomes force not by magnitude but by simply being bigger. Chinese politicians can only be hysterical when they listen to what the “leaders” of the West propose to harm their economiies: fill yer boots, boys, they must say.

    • Emissions of what exactly? If you are talking about CO2 with a modicum of smarts we all know that science really is “settled” – there is no discernible problem – just benefits.
      “INCREASE coal-plant energy (and therefore emissions).”

    • China was forced repeatedly to do as it was told
      ============
      Doug has hit the nail on the head. China is not going repeat past mistakes. They are moving very quickly to make the RMB the global alternative to the USD, at which point no one will be able to force China to do anything.
      Until then, China will play for time. 2030 has now bought them 15 years in which they need not make any change in their plans. By 2030 the RMB will have surpassed the USD economically, given relative growth rates.
      Just got back from China. Modern new highways, cars, bridges, skyscrapers and factories everywhere. An endless line of gravel barges on the Yangtze. Millions of shoppers in the major cities, at least as well dressed as anywhere in the west. Lots better dressed.
      About the only complaint we heard was about the air pollution, and folks talk openly about it. We were lucky, Beijing had clear skies while we were there. APEC blue they called it. Air Pollution Eventually Controlled the Chinese told us.

  12. China has never denied that CO2 emissions will rise and has never made any real attempt to pretend otherwise. Only the self delusions of IPCC-oriented environmentalists and their tame modelers has pretended otherwise.

    • True, the Chinese have never fallen to the low moral standards of western governments in the climate question. Many left-wingers are hesitant to blame them for anything at all, they have a history of regarding China as a political ideal. China now has the same co2-emissions per capita as the EU, and will probably soon surpass Europe. If we are to take the alarmists seriously, this means that the climate crises can not be avoided. But, being regarded by the UN as a developing country and by the leftists as an old, though tarnished, ideal, it is not quite comme il faut to point out that China is leading the way into disaster.

  13. One of the reasons, and arguably the main one, why China is increasing non fossil fuel capacity is its insatiable desire for more energy.
    China knows it cannot satisfy this need with coal alone, that is why it is also expanding oil and gas supplies.

  14. The little”o” was trying to use this “agreement” with China as a breakthrough and testament to his enlightenment skills at the G20 in Brisbane.
    Doing his best to discredit Tony Abbott’s initiative and election platform promise to throw out the idiotic CO2 tax proposed by Gillard’s greenut pandering left.
    . He is a laughing stock in Australia. NOT by the “left of everything” press but with all thinking, voting Australians.
    The president came across as the worst bad Whitehouse joke since Nixon.

  15. Perhaps the real story behind all of this is that China will continue to consume ever greater amounts of energy, as its economy continues to grow, something that won’t stop any time soon.

    Good for them. May we all prosper so.

  16. The Indian govt has just announced that they intend to double coal use in the next 5 years. This completely buggers up the Obama, China agreement and yet nobody seems to want to talk about it. Funny that.
    Also many economists state that China’s reign as largest economy ( perhaps by 2050) will not last long and India will be the largest economy soon after. Who knows?

    • Neville, it is in perfect harmony with the China agreement. China simply agreed to increase their emissions as well!

    • The joke going around China while we were there is that the Chinese intended to clean up their air pollution the same way the west did. They will export it to India.

  17. Two more tidbits about China:
    http://www.pbase.com/azleader/image/158304681.png
    In 2013, China produced nearly as much CO2 emissions as the world’s next 5 largest emitters combined, including the United States.
    http://www.pbase.com/azleader/image/158304677.png
    China generates 5.8 times more carbon emissions per dollar of GDP growth than the United States. It has the highest carbon intensity of the top 6 CO2 offenders.
    It’s no wonder China is, by far, the world’s biggest CO2 offender.

    • “China generates 5.8 times more carbon emissions per dollar of GDP growth . . . .”
      The word “growth” should be in the caption.

    • the west exported their heavy industry to China, along with the pollution. now the west is trying to point a finger at China, trying to blame the Chinese for the pollution in China.
      this is not lost on the Chinese.

  18. Thanks, Paul. Good article. In South America this was understood when I was a freshman, 20 years later everything changed for the worst. Global warming played its divisive role in it.
    You said: “there is still a huge gap in scientists’ understanding of why the earth goes through these warm and cold phases.” This is true, and we have to advance the knowledge or be swamped into a new dark age, that might also be cold, again.

  19. I don’t believe the data produced by the U.S., and China’s data even less.
    But I’ll stick with the devil I know, for now.

    • Andres, I disagree it is mostly C in the air. It is mostly ash blown up from the fuel bed. The C content isn’t that high. There is a lot if silica and salt in the air in, for instance, Beijing. About half the PM in the Beijing air is blown up from the ground. It is actually a quite dry, sandy place.
      Vehicle emissions are significant. The emissions from domestic honeycomb briquettes are largely hydrocarbons, not carbon in the usually intended sense of unburned particles of black coal.
      By reducing the fan velocity in the combustors and completing the combustion more efficiently it will help a lot. The great increase in coal consumption is not happening with the old smoky technologies of the 70’s. Make no mistake. They are investing in modern plants while the USA dithers about how to exempt old ones, keep them running or ban them altogether.
      The China plan is to build the coal plants they need to get their nukes up and running, and to build the coal to liquids plants to make vehicle fuels (a-la-SASOL). Sounds like a realistic plan. Anyone else got one?

  20. It’s amazing how this administration abetted by the media lies. This “historic agreement” with China is nothing more than a failed attempt by the US to meddle with China. They poked the POTUS in the eye with a stick and told him to go back home. There was no agreement. China told us what they are going to do and nothing more.

    • Markl, they didn’t poke anyone in the eye – they gave them exactly what they wanted: an agreement to stop increasing CO2 emissions at the 2030 level which was going to happen anyway.
      The US agreeing to reduce its CO2 emissions by some amount below some old level is the US poking itself in the eye. China didn’t lean on the US to do that, did they?
      The US got what they wanted which was an agreement to ‘limit emissions’. If the participants at the Paris meeting next year think that was a useful achievement I guess they will agree to something ‘similar’. The question is, will it be similar to China’s long term goal, or the throat-slitting move by the US? I don’t know – which is dumber, a box of rocks or a bag of hammers?

      • I think if you read the “agreement” closer you’ll find that China did not agree to anything. What they said was they will continue increasing CO2 output for another 16 years and then at that time make a decision how much they’ll reduce. The only agreement they made was to continue doing what they’ve done all along knowing full well that by 2030 projects already in progress will increase their renewable energy use without having to cut back anything. They, and the rest of the world, are laughing at the spin the US has put on the “agreement”.

      • “an agreement to stop increasing CO2 emissions at the 2030 level which was going to happen anyway. ”
        ==================================
        I am sorry, but that is gullible nonsense. They agreed to INCREASE emissions as fast as possible while their population is growing. CO2 is not a pollutant, and China’s extensive pollution problems have nothing to do with CO2.

  21. It would seem that President Obama found a way to use Gruber to help sell the appearance of action regarding cliamte.

  22. Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere = 0.04% which = 0.0004 of the atmosphere.
    Man-made CO2 is 3% of that which = 0.0004×0.03 = 0.000012.
    Burning fossil fuels is about 50% of that.
    Therefore The amount of man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels is about 0.000006 of the atmosphere.
    If you are telling me that this miniscule amount of CO2 can cause ice ages and catastrophic global warming
    then you are either pushing the Alarmist’s political agenda and/or a gullible ignorant fool.
    AND.. to say that the sun, Milankovitch cycles; continental drift; volcanism and earthquakes are not relevant
    is totally absurd.

  23. Unlike the US, China made no agreement to decrease emissions. In point of fact, China is now free to increase emissions as fast as it wants for the next 15 years. Who can say what will happen after that. Nothing prevents China from changing its mind in 2030.
    The US government itself already shows Chinese emissions peaking in 2035, before this agreement was announced, so really the Chinese didn’t agree to do anything different than what was already planned.
    “http://www.eia.gov/countries/analysisbriefs/China/images/carbon_dioxide_emissions.png”

  24. The western media and Obama have chosen to ignore precisely what the Chinese are saying. The Chinese are relating carbon emissions to GDP. If carbon emissions and GDP both double by 2030 this will no increase in the emissions/GDP. If GDP has trebled and emissions have doubled the Chinese can report that emissions have been reduced by 33% but they will be talking of emissions/ GDP.

    • “The western media and Obama have chosen to ignore precisely what the Chinese are saying.” +1 It’s all about the spin on CAGW. We/west are being lied to.

  25. Everyone falls for – China, China, China…over there, growing, GDP 8% per year, and so on, as if it is a separate entity. It is not. China is intimately linked to the flows of international capital, including American capital that has gone there looking for high returns – cheap labour, little regulation. China is now the manufacturing capital of the world. Western countries now have a skewed economy where ‘financial services’ are a very significant proportion of GDP, with manufacturing in decline. Financial services do not register as much in the emissions league as manufacturing. So, of course the West happily colludes in China’s continued rise in emissions.
    I have to admit, though, that Western governments’ zeal for renewables is hard to understand. I don’t think it is because they are scared of global warming – otherwise a lot of other things would be happening too.

    • “. . . Western governments’ zeal for renewables is hard to understand. I don’t think it is because they are scared of global warming – otherwise a lot of other things would be happening too.”
      What other things, please?

  26. Recently, Obama made his grandstanding-Obama/China deal, effectively allowing China to keep emitting enormous amounts of CO2 in its quest to develop, which is also what India is doing.
    Well, here is the $64,000 question everyone should be asking, every day.
    The African dream is to develop, and to do so requires cheap reliable fossil fuel energy. But Obama’s policies have put grave restrictions on funding projects in Africa that are linked to fossil fuel energy, insisting such poor countries use expensive unaffordable inefficient renewable energy. So why is Obama quite happy to allow China (and India) to develop, yet at the same time he is happy to kill the African dream?

  27. And like most political animals, you can bet they inflated their estimates so that they can boast about how much carbon emissions were cut and how they exceeded expectations. At least they have a rational mix of energy sources.

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