Moving Beyond Coal: Shifting China onto a Path Toward 100% Renewable Electricity
2013 was a bad air year for China, bookended with “airpocalypses” that left Chinese cities blanketed in thick smog for weeks. Much of the fine particulates that created this smog came from coal plant emissions, as the Chinese government approved the construction of more than 100 million tons of new coal production capacity last year, a sixfold increase over 2012. So although China is the world’s leading investor in clean energy technologies, coal remains king. But more than ever, pollution problems are threatening coal’s reign.
On February 19th, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) together with WWF will host a panel delves into the ambitious question of how China can entirely phase out coal from the country’s electricity mix. The discussion will be anchored by a new WWF and Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri) report China's Future Generation: Assessing the Maximum Potential for Renewable Power Sources in China to 2050 that assesses the scenarios at which China can technically transition to majority renewable electricity over the next 36 years. The analysis shows that with existing commercially available technology and aggressive policies shifting the country away from energy-intensive industries, around 80 percent of China's electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by 2050. The report will be released the day of this meeting and available online. The panel of industry, research, and NGO representatives will reflect on the near-term opportunities for businesses and the gaps that NGOs and other stakeholders could fill to accelerate this transition.
Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to email@example.com. Media bringing heavy electronics MUST indicate this in their response so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Please err toward responding if you would like to attend.
Lunyan Lu //Climate & Energy Program Director, WWF China
Research Director, Energy Transition Research Institute