Monday, October 28, 2013

China's Renewable Energy

Environmentally, China has to run hard just to stay in place:
China’s faltering progress on air quality resembles its record on carbon dioxide. Those emissions have risen by about 8 percent a year since 2007 and increased from nearly 14 percent of global emissions in 2000 to 27 percent in 2011.

This is in spite of China’s enormous investments to decarbonize its energy system. In less than 10 years it has built the world’s largest wind power capacity, with plans to triple it by 2020. Its hydropower capacity, also the largest in the world, is expected to triple from 2005 to 2020, and its nuclear capacity will multiply at least sixfold over that same period. And China is increasing imports and production of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel.

-- Chris P. Nielsen and Mun S. Ho, "Clearing the Air in China," NY Times 10/25/13, who estimate that a $10/ton tax on carbon dioxide in China would prevent as many as 89,000 premature deaths a year from pollution by 2020 (because it would incent a shift from coal), and improve crop productivity.

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