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Chi’s coal use drops, showing commitment to climate change: Experts

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, March 13: The consumption of coal in Chi is on the decline, despite economic growth, showing the country is making efforts to combat climate change. The 2016 Statistical Communiqué on Economic and Social Development released by Chi’s tiol Bureau of Statistics last week, said Chi’s electricity sector transformation continued over 2016. With coal consumption down 4.7 percent in 2016, the data also confirms that Chi is now more than three years past its 2013 peak in coal.

“Energy demand has decoupled from economic activity, and when this is combined with record annual renewable energy installations, Chi continues to diversify away from coal faster than anyone expected,” said Tim Buckley, the Energy Fince Studies Director with the Institute for Energy Economics and Fincial Alysis (IEEFA).

IEEFA conducts research and alyses on fincial and economic issues related to energy and the environment.

The Chinese report says solar and wind capacity grew dramatically; solar increasing by 81.6 per cent to 77 GW in 2016 and wind growing 13.2 per cent to 149 GW.

But problems remain, as electricity from renewables is uble to be evacuated to the grid adequately. In total, 57.1 TWh generated by wind and solar was wasted last year, equivalent to the total annual generation of Denmark and Ireland in 2015.

United tions Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim is optimistic about the energy landscape transformation in Chi — one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“On Chi, I’m optimistic. There are bold targets and huge challenges but we’re also seeing enormous progress. A fundamental shift has taken place in Chinese thinking. Chi is not only concerned with economic growth but also the quality of that growth,” he said.

Solheim said in a recent interview that corporate sourcing of renewable electricity can be a major driver of the transition to a robust, zero-emissions economy.

“What we are hearing time and again from the private sector is that they consider carbon pricing to be an increasing certainty. More and more companies feel they need to begin right now to factor this into their way of doing business.”

Solheim said RE100 grouping of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100 percent renewable power reflects this new way of thinking.

“I’m convinced that this will kick off a wider trend where all companies will not be able to afford to ignore the sustaibility of their operations. In addition, this will help grow demand for renewable energy, which in turn will drive innovation and redirect investment away from fossil fuels.”

“As the market is pushed to maturity, prices will come down. Renewables will become the new standard,” Solheim added. IEEFA’s Buckley said Chi has exceeded all expectations with its investment in renewable energy capacity, once again breaking its own world record for installation. The pace of growth and the decline in cost, he said, are extraordiry.

Chi plans to invest $360 billion in new renewable energy capacity by 2020, driving new employment and technology development.

Interestingly, coal imports by Chi has increased by 25 percent. Chi’s net coal imports in 2016 were 255 million tonnes, an increase of 25.2 percent on 2015, says the Chinese tiol Bureau of Statistics.

Imports had previously declined in 2014 (minus 11 percent) and 2015 (minus 30 percent), but rebounded in 2016 as a result of a Chinese government policy to reduce overcapacity in the domestic coal sector, which significantly reduced domestic coal production. (IANS)

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