Achieving economic transformation and CO2 control strategy
in China: challenges and opportunities for alternative energies development
Due to its population size, the stimulation of the energy demand to sustain its rapid economic growth, and a heavy energy dependence on coal, China recently became the largest primary energy consumer and CO2 emitter in the world. To mitigate the risks associated with climate change, energy security and to initiate a transition to a low carbon economy, China is setting ambitious targets in terms of energy and carbon intensity, as well as the development of non-fossil fuel energies.
The purpose of this dissertation is to discuss the challenges and opportunities for alternative energies development in China from a sustainable development perspective. As a methodology, I focus on wind power and use an integrated sustainability assessment framework adapted from the literature to analyse the impacts of the latest renewable energy policies: renewable energy law (2005), medium and long term development plan for renewable energy (2007) and the 12th five year plan (2011-2015).
With a set of key indicators, I qualitatively assess the extent to which China’s wind development plan fosters the sustainable development objectives and meet some key principles of sustainable energy. Subsequently I quantify and discuss the probable impacts on the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, environmental). Finally, I discuss how the wind development plan is integrated with China’s broader context.
The dissertation will introduce the Chinese energy and C02 emissions context, commenting on the achievement of the past policies, then present the framework and the key indicators used for wind development, and finally show the early recommendations and the next steps.