China can transition to an 80 percent renewable electric power system by 2050 at far less cost than continuing to reply on coal, according to a report released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Wednesday.
The report said around 80 percent of China’s electricity generation can be met by renewable sources, if appropriate policies and measures are taken, on condition that energy efficiency would improve aggressively.
As a result, China’s carbon emission from power generation could be 90 percent less than currently projected levels in 2050 without compromising the reliability of the electric grid or slowing economic growth, the report said.
“I think this report is quite significant for China,” WWF’s China Climate and Energy Program director Lunyan Lu told Xinhua.
Considering China has experienced 30-year fast economic development, and serious environmental pollution and global climate change are threatening its future development, China is standing at a “cross road” for energy transition, Lu said.
“China must face the issue of energy transition. The biggest problem we mentioned (in the report) is political will,” said Lu, as “no matter what energy structure China chooses, it will involve huge economic interests behind.”
Lu said different energy sectors will fight on this issue, but WWF hopes China can choose a way that really benefits its future generations. WWF will make further research on issues related to coal consumption and massive usage of renewable energies in China.
The report was prepared by the Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri) for WWF. It was released at a seminar held in Wilson Center, a famous think tank based in Washington D.C..