China’s Future Generation: assessing the major maximum potential for renewable power sources in China to 2050

Entri and WWF, 2014.

With one-fifth of the world’s population, China is the fastest and largest-growing economy and its global ecological impacts are keeping pace. Whether China can shift to an equitable, environmentally sustainable development pathway will determine not only the future of China but also that of the entire living planet. This analysis from Entri and WWF shows that with “proven technology,” around 80 percent of China’s electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by 2050 if China immediately begins to implement ambitious energy efficiency measures and reduces the share of its energy-intensive industries while growing its services as a basis for sustainable economic development. This report finds that coal can be eliminated from China’s electricity mix by 2040, provided appropriate regulations or explicit carbon pricing measures are put in place. Just as encouraging, the report shows that the renewable electricity scenario would be more cost-effective than a scenario that does not prioritize renewable energy or energy efficiency. This is without even calculating the external social and environmental costs, which would likely favor renewable energy sources even more.

Read the full report here