great wall of china

China’s Evolution to a Low Carbon Future

China’s move towards a low carbon future with high-efficiency, low-emissions plants comes hand in hand with their rapid development in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to remove CO2 emissions from their plants.

CCS is becoming mainstream in China; recognized as a critical technology to enable China to meet its emissions targets. Such is the importance of CCS in China, it is included in the country’s 13th five year plan and is referred to by President Xi as part of the country’s Energy Revolution. Supported by Scottish Development International, Sam Gomersall recently visited Beijing and Guandong to learn more about Chinese projects and explore business opportunities.

Alongside presenting a status update (translated simultaneously!) of our UK CO2 storage appraisal work shortly to be completed for DECC, we held a number of introductory discussions with Chinese companies interested in CCS, with the support of the Chinese British Business Council and the British Embassy. These opportunities allowed a greater understanding of CCS in China, and explore how our ten year track record in CCS can support China in its Energy Revolution.

Later that week, Sam later travelled to Guangdong, where the highlight was visiting the Haifeng Power Station, a new coal fired power stations (operated by China Resources Power) built in China to fuel its recent economic growth. Unlike power stations in the UK, it is built to high environmental standards with technology to remove oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and to remove any particulates in the flue gas.

Haifeng is working with the Guangdong Carbon Capture and Utilisation Centre (GDCCUS) and the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI) to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to remove the CO2 from its emissions.

Two CCS projects planned for the UK were cancelled last November and the UK will now have to look to China for project learning which will be critical to the UK decarbonising our thermal power generation, cleaning up our industrial emissions and enabling the widespread substitution of natural gas with hydrogen.

China has the largest CO2 emissions of any nation, but considerable academic and engineering effort is being invested in CCS and carbon reduction. Combined with China’s political commitment and planning for CCS, China will soon be at the forefront of this globally important technology.  The story of this evolution to low carbon power in China deserves wider recognition.

This article was written by Sam Gomersall.

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