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China's energy status: A critical look at fossils and renewable options

S. Danlami Musa, Tang Zhonghua, Abdullateef O. Ibrahim and Mukhtar Habib

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, vol. 81, issue P2, 2281-2290

Abstract: China relies heavily on fossil fuels to keep the wheel of its huge economy running. Fossil fuels are however not a sustainable energy source due largely to their environmental footprint and supply insecurity. These concerns have necessitated the need for alternative energy sources that are both renewable and environmentally friendly. This policy direction is in line with the Kyoto protocol that constrained countries to follow certain energy consumption pattern that encourages the use of less carbon intensive energy sources. In line with this protocol, China has over the years adopted the use of various renewable energy sources including solar, wind, marine, as well as hydropower. This commitment by the Chinese government has yielded significant result over the years. Notably, between 2014 and 2015, wind and solar energies were responsible for 25.4% of electrical energy produced in China. However, enabling laws to support the optimum consumption of these energies has not been provided, thereby resulting in a serious setback. In spite of the increased production in renewable energies, biofuels have contributed only marginally to the entire growth. Biofuels are very important considering the contribution of the transport sector to carbon emissions. Although there are ethical issues associated with current biofuels due to energy-food nexus, this review submits that algal biofuel could serve as an alternative. To this end, there is urgent need for the government to put in place laws and policies that will support not only production but also consumption of renewables, including algal biofuel, so that dependence on coal and other fossil fuels can be further reduced. This will not only reduce the country's dependence on oil import which is currently at 59.4% but greatly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Keywords: Energy mix; Fossil fuels; Renewable energy; Biofuels; Greenhouse gases; Algae (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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