02 March 2011

China's CO2 Intensity

CO2scorecard.org has a new analysis out on China's carbon dioxide emissions.  They argue:
While China gains accolades for its targets and results (Seligsohn and Levin 2010; Houser 2010), data analysis clearly demonstrates that a 45% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020 will be insufficient to tackle the rate at which total CO2 emissions is currently increasing in China.
Have a look and please feel free to come back here to discuss.


  1. Official 2010 Chinese Economic Statistics.


    Coal production increased 8.9% but electricity production increased by 13% led by a 17% increase in hydro-power.

    Coal imports increased 30% to 164 MT. The value of imported coal increased 60% to 16.9 billion USD.

    And it would appear the China has edged out the US as the worlds largest consumer of electricity with 4,200 TWh of generation in 2010.

    The point that I focus on is the 165 MT of coal imports.

    There are only 5 countries in Asia with more then a 10 million tonnes per year production capacity.

    China and India are importers.

    Vietnam cut coal exports by 20% in 2010 to 19.8 million tons and expects to cut coal exports further to 16.8 tons in 2011 in order to meet domestic demand and dwindling reserves. Vietnam also has 6 GW of coal fired generating capacity under construction which when completed will end its days as a coal exporter.

    That leaves Australia and Indonesia as the only sizable exporters in Asia.

    The next nearest exporter is South Africa. Richards Bay only has a 60 million ton per year port facility with talks of expanding it to 90 million tonnes by 2015.

    The west coast of North American has roughly 50 million tons of coal export port capacity but that is already close to capacity.

    That leaves Columbia and Russia, Europe's primary suppliers of coal to make up any shortfall in Asia.

    I don't know anything about 'carbon intensity' but it looks to me like 'carbon availability' in Asia and Europe is seriously constrained.

  2. Well China got the memo. This nuclear technology is far less expensive, even cheaper than coal. China is on a path to replace coal with these green nukes.

    http://www.wired.com/ wiredscience/ 2011/ 02/ china-thorium-power/

    “China Takes Lead in Race for Clean Nuclear Power”

    “China has officially announced it will launch a program to develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor, taking a crucial step towards shifting to nuclear power as a primary energy source.

    The project was unveiled at the annual Chinese Academy of Sciences conference in Shanghai last week, and reported in the Wen Hui Bao newspaper (Google English translation here).

    If the reactor works as planned, China may fulfill a long-delayed dream of clean nuclear energy. The United States could conceivably become dependent on China for next-generation nuclear technology. At the least, the United States could fall dramatically behind in developing green energy.”

  3. Roger,

    China's latest 5 year plan.

    An additional 40 GW of nuclear,120 GW of hydro, 70 GW of wind and 5 GW of solar by 2015.

    If we use a 30% capacity factor for hydro(the US average) and 25% for solar and wind and an 8,000 hour year.

    We get
    1 GW nuclear = 8 TWh/yr
    1 GW hydro * .3 = 2.4 TWh/yr
    1 GW or solar * .25 = 2 TWh/hr

    (40 * 8) + (120 *2.4) + (75 * 2) = 758 TWh/yr by 2015.

    2010 Electricity production was 4,200 TWh, 78% from coal.