The Green Revolution in China
A couple of weeks ago, China’s highest government body published their conclusions from the second research session on continental climate change over a period of twelve months. Due to China’s new global role and the number of unprecedented environmental issues in China, the Chinese prime minister was very keen to raise climate change as an important issue at the upcoming G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan.
It should be highlighted that the Chinese central government also had a similar meeting and that China is a rapidly industrializing country with new coal-fueled power plants opening every week. China is like a terrifying carbon-guzzling monster. As a result of thirty years of industrialization, China now has the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Carbon dioxide emissions are increasing up to eight per cent a year. The EU achieved a twenty per cent reduction, but China’s emission rate was twice as much approaching the 2010 IPCC deadline for carbon dioxide emissions reduction.
However, it could be misleading to put too much emphasis on these statistics. A non- governmental organization (Climate Group) newspaper report presents a slightly different picture. According to the Clean Revolution in China, China is a nation that is more than aware of its environmental issues but also has the potential to achieve a second miracle in 30 years.
The environmental price of the first “miracle” was that Chinese people always saw their daily lives. That’s why most of the policies are related to energy efficiency, energy-saving and other alternative energy sources. Those policies have already been met with some concern.
Whilst the personal sectors are so strong and developing, they are able to aid the central government to introduce laws, like the National Renewable Energy Law in 2006. This has set hard targets, including increasing the amount of energy made from new renewable sources from eight per cent to fifteen per cent until 2020. Also, it has guaranteed at least three per cent of renewable energy sources, such as biomass, solar and wind.
Both wind and solar power are so successful, but their origins are very different. With 6 gigawatts of energy made from wind turbines, surprisingly China is now ranked behind Germany, the US, Spain and India. Also, some believe China will reach 100 GW by 2020.
Wind power successfully shows that with central government aid China is ready for new policies, subsidies and advanced technology. This situation also has a role in the domestic market. The amount of electricity produced by wind farms can be a burden to fund.
Even though western countries invented an open marketplace set to dominate in China, there were few domestic incentives for solar power. In the global solar photovoltaic cell market, it is second only to Japan and growing fast. In China, the solar market has been a small business, because the cells are so expensive. This puts pressure on the government to rapidly follow up on their policies, for example, the role of the Climate Group is important in developing domestic markets.
However, the image of new coal-fueled power stations still looms large as they are opening every week. It is hard to imagine that China has achieved a 10.5 per cent of growth rate without such stations in the last quarter. However, how many people actually know that China has been closing its small power stations over the last couple of years? Step by step China is reducing its small power stations, first the 50-megawatt ones then the 100-megawatt ones and next will be the 300-megawatt power stations.
This policy is operated by the Chinese central government and backs up the new generation of coal station using the most advanced technologies with supercritical and ultra-supercritical improved clean coal. Capture functions and plants of carbon are researched and developed, but advanced thinking for the future is based on the technology of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) that turn coal materials into synthetic gas to make power.
These days, Chinese consumers demand better homes and vehicles. Public awareness of energy- saving is on the rise. The Chinese government introduced a standard fuel economy for vehicles in 2004 of 15.6 kilometers per litre. This is higher than the US, Canada and Australia but behind Europe and Japan. In the meantime, in spite of a high 20 per cent tax on SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles), the sale of these sorts of cars continues to increase.
Up to now, China has been the kingdom of the bicycle, importing the electric bike at 1,500 yuan ($220) per vehicle. Some of these vehicles have adopted an intelligent recovery system similar to that of hybrid cars. In 2007, the sale of electric bikes increased considerably and China is estimated to make up three-quarters of the world electric vehicle market.
China, already, is doing a lot on the bottom line. So, could it do more? The answer is yes, China should learn and open its mind through international communities. According to the Climate Group, they report the world should refine their image of China, just not fear it and, constructively, work in unison. At the same time, China’s government should develop a clean revolution and maintain internal pressure for improvements.
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement reflects the opinion of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the opinion of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
1. The Central Government of China concluded the second research scheme of climate change in less than one year.
2. The main topic of the G8 Meeting in Japan was to discuss greenhouse gas emissions.
3. The Chinese Government must compensate the European Union for the loss of climate change.
4. NGO’s group reported about the truth of problems of a climate change in China.
5. Solar energy has increased the amount of energy.
6. With different launching, both wind and solar power are inefficient.
7. The high cost of cells causes less activity in the solar market in China.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
8. China is emitting ………………………… of the outstanding rates in the world.
9. Statistics that can be misleading have been corrected by a …………………………
10. In 2006 ………………………. has set a hard target, waxing the amount of renewable sources.
11. What are the renewable sources mentioned in the passage? …………………………
12. Wind energy is based on subsidies, policies and the equitable ……………………….
13. …………………….. should support to develop the domestic market in China facing financial problems.
Renewable Energy Law
Solar, Wind, Biomas
The climate group