China’s dilemma for using Coal Energy – Dec 20th

In a recent article in Scientific American there is a discussion regarding China’s dependency in Coal energy, which is one of the main energy substances for this economy’s engine (figuratively and literally).

China economic boom and rapid rise is fueled by Coal energy, as it provides roughly 70% of China’s energy.

There are two opposite forces that will affect China’s economy and energy production:

  • On the one hand, China’s ongoing growth and pressure to meet the increasing demand for energy; according to the article, Asia’s demand for energy was responsible for 70% of the world energy growth in the past couple of decades, in which China was responsible for 40% of it. Furthermore, China’s energy demand nearly tripled since 1990. All this only goes to show, as we all know, that China is one of the biggest players today in the energy market, and its dependency in Coal energy, which is cheap and available has some adverse environmental effects. This leads to the opposite force;
  • On the other hand, there is pressure from NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) to reduce China’s CO2 emissions, for using polluting energy such as Coal energy, by 40% until 2020. This mean that China’s government will need to downsize its use in Coal and substituting it with cleaner energy sources.

These two forces are opposite because meeting the demands of a fast growing nation like China with cleaner energy resources will be at a higher cost, which could adversely affect the poorest people in China.

Therefore the question that rises from this article is whether China will be able to maintain its high growing economy, and how will it affect the world’s environment.

I think this is tough question for China and we will have to see how it will turn out.

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