2021-10 25
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New energy sector will accelerate as China sets new net-zero targets



China's new energy sector will usher in great opportunities, as the country targets 25 percent non-fossil energy use by 2030 and over 80 percent use by 2060, experts said after the release of the new guideline to implement carbon peak and neutrality on Sunday. "The goal of 25 percent showed that China will firmly promote the realization of the dual-carbon goal, which is definitely good for the development of new energy," said He Xi, chief engineer of new energy of State Power Investment Corporation. The chief engineer said new energy development will accelerate and the country will actively promote the development of the power system, where multiple new energy sources can be used for power supply. As China has been boosting green and low-carbon energy development, China's non-fossil energy use in 2020 was 15.9 percent, according to Zhang Jianhua, head of the National Energy Administration. That was almost 10 percentage points away from the goal of 25 percent by 2030. The non-fossil energy use target is part of China's larger plan for achieving peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2060, and it is also an updated commitment under the Paris Agreement. The new guideline has made energy-saving a priority and emphasized further improving production efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and adding new energy use, according to Wang Zhixuan, vice president of the China Electricity Council (CEC). The guideline prohibited blindly developing energy-intensive and high-emission projects. Instead, the country will introduce production control policies for coal power and the petrochemical, coal and chemical industries, and enhance guidance on overcapacity. Since September, the construction of domestic new energy projects has accelerated significantly, and construction of the first phase of the large-scale wind power and photovoltaic base with an installed capacity of about 100 million kilowatts has started. The installed capacity and proportion of  domestic non-fossil energy for power generation will surpass that of coal-fired power generation for the first time this year, according to the CEC. Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:October 25, 2021

2021-10 12
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Xi Jinping unveils new measures at COP15 to strive for a beautiful China



Biodiversity fund, national parks and plans to achieve carbon goals  China will take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (about $233 million) to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund.  Chinese President Xi Jinping made the announcement while addressing the leaders' summit of the COP15 via video link in Beijing on Tuesday.  The fund will be used to support developing countries in biodiversity protection, Xi said, adding that China calls on and welcomes all parties to make contributions to the fund.  To strengthen biodiversity protection, China is moving faster to establish a protected areas system with national parks as the mainstay, Xi noted.  Over time, areas with the greatest importance to the natural ecosystem, and with the most unique natural landscapes, the most valuable natural heritage and the greatest biodiversity reserve will be included in the national parks system, he said.  To achieve its carbon peak and neutrality targets, China will release implementation plans for peaking carbon dioxide emissions in key areas and sectors as well as a series of supporting measures, and will put in place a "1+N" policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality, the president announced.  China will continue to readjust its industrial structure and energy mix, vigorously develop renewable energy, and make faster progress in planning and developing large wind power and photovoltaic bases in sandy areas, rocky areas and deserts, Xi noted.  Xi calls for joint efforts for humanity's high-quality development  Xi called on countries around the world to join hands and start a new journey of high-quality development of humanity.  The development of ecological civilization should be taken as a guide to coordinate the relationship between man and Nature, Xi stressed, adding that human activities need to be kept within the limits of the ecology and environment.  Xi urged efforts to let green transition drive people's efforts to facilitate global sustainable development, and called for stepping up green international cooperation to share the fruits of green development among all countries.  Stressing the need to better people's well-being to promote social equity and justice, Xi noted that international law should be the basis to uphold a fair and equitable international governance system.  Xi also said that the new environmental protection targets people set need to be ambitious on the one hand and pragmatic and balanced on the other.  Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:October 12, 2021

2021-09 30
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China energy crunch: Expert says carbon-emission goals can't be reached overnight



More than a dozen Chinese provinces and municipalities announced some form of power cut this month, as strong demand, on top of a shortage of supply, and more restricted emission standards, have pushed the price of coal to record highs. Energy providers aren't able to keep up as demand increases, and the price of coal isn't helping. "The coal price as I know, per tonne, reached 1,600 yuan ($247.5), that is three times, a lot more," said Liu Zhiqin, senior researcher at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.  There's a gap between supply and demand, said Chai Qimin, director of strategy and planning at the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation. "In the first half of 2021, we can see electricity [demand] increases by 14 percent, but the production of electricity only increases around 10 percent." Many businesses are struggling to cope with the situation. The outages come as companies are also having to incorporate energy-saving measures, and trying to reduce their carbon emissions. This has had a knock-on effect on production. One factory in east China's Zhejiang Province has seen its production levels halve, and it's not alone. Wang Zehui, manager of Knitted Apparel Industrial Park in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, said, "The Stocking Dyeing Factory, which we cooperate with, is also in shutdown. Its operations have been halted for four days, and may last till the end of this month." China's State Grid has promised to meet people's basic energy needs and the country's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, said it will guarantee home heating for the winter. China has vowed to reach carbon emission peak by 2030 and be a carbon-neutral country by 2060, while pushing reforms by promoting green and low-carbon energy. The dual carbon goals are not going to be easy to meet. "The carbon emission [control] is national strategy, all entrepreneurs and regions should pay great attention to support national strategy," Liu said, stressing that it is not "a hurried step." He added it means the strategy needs to be done in a rational, reasonable and well-planned manner, "not in a rush, not in one day, one night to overcome carbon emissions." As factories try to meet the emission standards, it will take time to renovate and innovate in order to improve their efficiency and system, Liu said.  Bumps along the road were always likely and expected, but experts said getting over problems such as this energy crunch in a sustainable way can only smooth the way ahead. Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:September 30, 2021

2021-09 27
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ZGC Forum: Technology vital to achieving China's 'dual carbon' goals



China must establish a powerful technical support system to achieve carbon neutrality, as technology is the key in the field, Ding Zhongli, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a parallel forum of the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum) on Sunday. "Achieving carbon neutrality needs a systematic transformation in China's economy and society. We cannot only rely on administrative or capital power but must rely on the power of technology," said Ding, calling building such a support system a major task for China's scientific and technological community. Ding said the world emits about 40.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, of which 86 percent comes from fossil fuel use and 14 percent from land use change. Although China has been long regarded as the largest carbon emitter globally, the country sits 15th in the world in terms of per-capita carbon emissions after many developed countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan, according to the World Bank. "About 46 percent of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere. Twenty-three percent is absorbed by the oceans, and 31 percent is absorbed by the land," he said. Ding said to achieve carbon neutrality, the nation needs to replace traditional energy, such as coal, petrol and gas, with renewable energy, such as wind, solar, nuclear power, electricity and hydrogen power, and develop and apply new technologies to capture and store the carbon emissions. Technologies related to carbon neutrality can range from carbon emission calculation and management to carbon capture and storage. "We need to train more professionals who know how to calculate the carbon emission," said Ding. As for carbon capture and storage, there are various methods to decrease carbon emissions, such as factories capturing the carbon dioxide before emitting it to the environment and a carbon sink to absorb the carbon emissions. In July, China's national carbon emissions trading market commenced trading as the nation released a plan for setting and distributing carbon emission trade quotas for 2019-20 for units in the power sector last December. Carbon emission is tracked and traded like any other commodity on what is known as the "carbon market." When a company breaches its carbon emissions limit, it has to buy more permits. If the company emits less than the set limit, it can sell the excess permits for cash. China pledged to reach peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:September 27, 2021

2021-09 24
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Chinese scientists synthesize starch from CO2 in global first



Chinese scientists have become the first in the world to develop an artificial method of synthesizing starch from carbon dioxide (CO2). The study, published online in the journal Science on Friday, was conducted by the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Starch, a storage form of carbohydrate, is the major component of grain as well as an important industrial raw material. At present, it is mainly produced by crops such as corn and rice by fixing CO2 through photosynthesis. The process involves about 60 biochemical reactions and complex physiological regulation, with an energy conversion efficiency of only about 2 percent in theory. The new approach makes it possible to alter starch production from traditional agricultural planting to industrial manufacturing, and opens up a new technical route for synthesizing complex molecules from CO2, said Ma Yanhe, corresponding author of the study. "The artificial starch anabolic pathway (ASAP), consisting of 11 core reactions, was drafted by computational pathway design, established through modular assembly and substitution, and optimized by protein engineering of three bottleneck-associated enzymes," the authors wrote. "In a chemoenzymatic system with spatial and temporal segregation, ASAP, driven by hydrogen, converts CO2 to starch at a rate of 22 nanomoles of CO2 per minute per milligram of total catalyst, an 8.5-fold higher rate than starch synthesis in maize," they elaborated. Cai Tao, lead author of the study, said that the starch sample synthesized in the new method is "exactly the same as naturally produced starch in terms of its composition and physical and chemical properties." Theoretically, given enough energy supply, based on the current technical parameters, the annual production capacity of starch in a one-cubic-meter bioreactor equals the annual yield of starch from one-third of a hectare of corn, the team said. If the overall cost of the system can be lowered to a level economically comparable with agricultural planting in the future, it is expected to save more than 90 percent of arable land and freshwater, according to the researchers. In addition, it would also help to avoid the negative impact of using pesticides and fertilizers on the environment and ease food shortages, they said.  Source:CGTN Author:CGTN Date:September 24, 2021