It is now essentially universally agreed that the emission of greenhouse gases is cause for concern. In response to a rising concern surrounding greenhouse gas emissions, many countries are increasingly adjusting their policies to reduce such emissions.
On Sep 22nd of 2020, president Xi stated that the CO2 emission in China should reach its peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. But what does this plan mean for China?
On the supply side of energy, electricity has caught China’s attention. In 2019, 63.9% of electricity was generated by coal. This can be improved by photovoltaic generation(which describes the direct conversion of light into electricity). It includes the use of photovoltaic semiconductors to convert solar energy into DC power. Another way is to use new energy such as wind energy and hydroelectric power. However, the latter two involve high costs in the construction of wind power stations and dams. Many factors should be considered such as the environment, the site selection and damage to the ecosystem.
On the demand side of energy, we take the cement industry as an example. The direct emission of CO2 in the cement production process comes from the decomposition of mainly limestone in the high temperature calcination and the combustion of coal, and the indirect emission comes from the power consumption of each process. This can be improved by: 1) improve energy efficiency which can be achieved by improving thermal efficiency of cement kiln through technology promotion; 2) use alternative fuel, such as waste which reduces the use of coal and the pollution of waste to the environment.
In a nutshell, carbon-neutral is currently in progress, with industries taking actions to change. Industries like photovoltaic semiconductors and electric vehicles are gaining more attention from the public. With more advanced technology, I believe that carbon neutrality can be achieved in the future.
EY, “A Path Guide to Carbon Neutrality”, 2021