China’s commitment to peak CO2 by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 is an ambitious target. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions from China in 2019 were about 10 GtCO2, with about half this total arising from coal power plants. A pivot away from coal as China’s primary energy source is a necessary, but massive, undertaking requiring significant changes not just in the installed generating base, but also market structures, regulatory frameworks, and other institutional factors. Moreover, progress across provinces will likely be uneven given the diversity of situations that exist across the country.
This seminar will examine these issues from the perspective of the large state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) that will be called upon to play a major role in executing on China’s climate commitments over the next decades. Some specific examples will be discussed, including prospects for shifting from coal-based to renewables-based generation within SOEs. An effort will be made to highlight where these factors might cause aspects of the transition trajectory in China to diverge from paths taken by the United States.
Bio: Dr. Anthony Ku is the Director of Advanced Technologies at the National Institute of Clean and low-carbon Energy (NICE), the research division of China Energy. In 2018, China Energy produced 15% of China’s electricity and had the world’s largest capacity in coal (180GW) and wind (37 GW) generation. Anthony is responsible for R&D addressing China Energy’s strategic challenges related to carbon management and air pollution, operational efficiency, and long-term sustainability. He is also the Chief Technology Officer for NICE America Research, the US office for NICE, with responsibilities for strategy and technical execution in areas related to hydrogen infrastructure development, shale gas technology, energy management, and application of digital technologies to energy production. Dr. Ku holds a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and M.S. and B.S. degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This event is part of the David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar Series, organized by the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment.