Think china’s 2060 plan for coal is a reasonable goal ? think twice.
I was recently watching
First the good news, according to Dave Borlace, china plans to peak coal by 2030, and then reach net zero by 2060.
And we should take them seriously because they wouldn’t do that unless they can deliver.
Well, not quite. There is actually quite a spectacular pile of the wreckage of previous failed policies by the CCP. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. First, at 1:36 he repeats china’s dubious claims of solar installation, and there is a more telling aspect. Whenever china refers to it’s solar footprint, they always refer to “installed capacity” and never refer to it as just “capacity”, there is a very specific reason for this.
Due to the complexities of grid scale solar, which ranges from issues like clouds, to also hiring people to clean the dust off of the solar panels on a regular basis, to the vastly more technical issues referred to in general as “the duck curve” https://fuergy.com/en/blog/the-duck-curve-why-renewables-still-rely-on-fossil-fuel-backups
it is easier to literally leave those solar plants sitting idly, which means off. They have vast installations that are little more than PR pieces. because everyone was claiming that china can save the world with solar panels, and not insignificant investments from places such as the eurozone, pocketing heavy costs to industrialize china. In order to qualify for those loans, despite none of the rest of the world being able to keep up with the phantom installation rate of china, which magically follows a perfect expoentital curve, in china, for about 4 years, several years ago, which has also ceased quite some time ago. Because if you check the data for china power utilization by type, solar is a whopping 1.4%.
so taking chinas word for it, may not be the best plan for trying to save the world. This is the primary reason for the whole “new coal plant every week” and this is despite their claim to ban new coal plants back in 2016 https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/china-confirms-ban-new-coal-fired-power-plant-construction-until-2018.html
That has clearly been cast aside.
So at 1:49 Dave asks “are they geniuine in making this pledge ?”
Survey says, no. https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/716347646/why-is-china-placing-a-global-bet-on-coal
Then Dave goes on to explain some of the dynamics of coal in china, while sort of ignoring that they green credentials were all greenwashing in the worst way, more on that later.
At 8:44 he makes an important point, even under the most optimistic and ideal conditions, with this plan, china would need technologies that do not exist yet, for it to succeed.
By 2050, carbon capture alone would need to be 12-20% of their energy, and right now, after a decade of everyone throwing their money into china for solar, it is less than 2% of their electricity. Despite all their claims of how much bigger their solar footprint is than everyone else. That doesn’t really matter if those solar panels are just the symptom of a dysfunctional investment system designed to draw global capital into china through 1-way investment gates, much like the ghost cities. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-ghost-towns-haunt-its-economy-1529076819
But that is just the shadow of the much larger problem, which can be seen here:
When you add China, to all the countries china has laid debt traps for, that accounts for 48% of global emissions. An more simplified graph is available here:
China is 28%, the china’s developments in Africa, and asia makes another 21%
Which is 49% of global CO2 emissions. the US comes in 2nd, at 15%, then Europe at a distant third, with about 7% of global CO2 emissions. So no matter how vast the sacrifices Europeans are willing to make for themselves, it doesn’t matter if the CCP goes unchecked, and people keep swallowing the same old propaganda, where china is somehow dramatically saving the world with solar, and after Germany spearheaded gearing the economy that way, almost 10 years later, things are even worse, and most of the progress on the Paris climate accords being woefully behind, with china being the only country that managed to “keep to the targets” which ended up demonstrating the smoke and mirrors that makes up china’s economy. As said by none other than jack ma himself.
calling it a system which is “the lack of a financial system”.