China, pollutant or innovator?

Hi everybody,

In this posts I would like to take a look at China and see what their opinion is on renewable energy.

China is as we know, seen as most of us have been there, a massive country with lots of extremes and contrasts.  I did some research and found the following results that I would like to share with you.

To begin I have found a graph that shows the amount of energy each an average citizen uses

Schermafbeelding 2013-03-21 om 20.39.08

Note that the graph only shows the average until 2010

As we look at this graph we can see that the average energy use per person is way below what a typical American uses or us Belgians.  Of course it is true that with the rising prosperity the average energy use will continue to rise.  You can see that China is on a rising curve whilst Belgium and the US have a more constant curve.

As we look at the next graph we see the amount of gigawatts China and other country’s produce

Schermafbeelding 2013-03-21 om 20.45.09

Pease note that the graph uses data from 2011 and very important that hydropower is NOT included in this graph.

When we add hydropower to this equation China produces total of  282 GW of renewable energy.

In 2011 China was also the biggest investor in green energy and this for the third year in a row.

Schermafbeelding 2013-03-21 om 20.53.20

This graph shows the amount invested as a percentage of the gross national product.

So when we look at these statistics you should conclude that China is doing a pretty good job right?

However, China is also the largest consumer of coal in the world.  They are generating 68,7% of their electricity from coal ( in comparison the USA generates 49% of it’s electricity from coal).  As we all know coal is a very pollutant energy resource, so China is as well the leader in renewable energy as in polluting energy.

As a conclusion I like to state that I really hope that China continues to invest on renewable energy and keeps on searching for options to eliminate as much as possible the use of coal, but we have to be realistic and look at ourselves too.  You cannot blame them for growing and achieving a higher standard of living. I think it’s time for every country  to take it’s responsibility and to keep on investing in renewable energy for a better future!

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3 thoughts on “China, pollutant or innovator?

  1. gabuglio says:

    I agree with you opinion that you don’t have to recken off China because of their high pollution of use of coal for electricity.
    It’s like you say, China is still growing and to grow you nead to use the resources and despite we like it or not the most obvious option is coal and oil.
    The fact that in this process of growing and expanding they are already looking to the future is also admirable and we have to learn of this.

    I just have one question about your post.
    You say China is also the largest consumer of coal in the world. They are generating 68,7% of their electricity from coal.
    Isn’t this normal if you see how many people are living there?

    • deckersbram says:

      It is off course normal that they are the largest consumer of coal in the world seen as they have the highest population but what I wanted to point out is the percentage of energy that is produced from coal. In the blog I made a comparison with the USA who generate 49% of their electricity from coal. China uses coal to generate 68,7% of their electricity, this is almost 20% higher.

      So regardless from how big the population is the share of coil in the production of electricity is very big and should be reduced for a cleaner alternative.

  2. gabuglio says:

    Oh okay, I get it :).

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