China’s Electric Utilities Program aims to shift the country’s power sector away from fossil-fuel-based electricity generation and toward cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The power sector, responsible for half of China’s coal consumption, is the country’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. Electricity demand is growing at more than 10 percent per year—faster than anywhere else in the world—and in response, China is fast-tracking construction of new generation facilities, more than 70 percent of which are coal-fired power plants. This, coupled with rapid growth in demand, seriously impairs China’s environment, public health, and efforts to reduce global warming emissions. The Chinese government recognizes the coming crisis and is introducing robust policies to improve efficiency and encourage renewable energy development.
The Electric Utilities Program promotes the retirement of old and inefficient coal power plants and the development of policies that give priority to power generated by cleaner, more efficient sources. We focus on reform measures that require utilities to invest in demand-side management, as well as policies that provide pricing and financial incentives to make it profitable. We support an ongoing project to develop “Energy Efficiency Power Plants”—aggregated demand-side, end-use energy efficiency projects that offset electricity demand to the extent that they obviate the need for new power plants. Finally, we strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through integrated coal gasification and combined cycle (IGCC) technology with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
The Electric Utilities Program is particularly interested in efforts to:
Promote the adoption of increasingly stringent generation efficiency and GHG emissions standards in the power sector;
Establish the policies and incentives, and build the capacity needed, to enable large-scale demand-side energy efficiency program implementation; and
Secure Chinese government and industry commitment to IGCC/CCS technologies through policy analysis, incentives, and regulatory requirements for accelerated demonstration and deployment.