A new analysis by Mark Levine and colleagues, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA, is challenging the idea that China’s energy use and greeenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow with a growing population. According to their study, China’s energy use will level off, even as its population passes 1.4 billion. The team used detailed scenario planning to predict that the steeply rising curve of energy demand in China will begin to moderate between 2030 and 2035 and flatten thereafter. The scenarios take into account the effect of saturation, where every household has all the appliances required, and consumer demand for energy efficient products.
The forecast uses two scenarios to examine CO2 emissions anticipated through 2050. Under an aggressive scenario, China’s emissions of the greenhouse gas are predicted to peak in 2027 at 9.7 billion metric tons, and then fall to about 7 billion metric tons by 2050. Under a more conservative scenario, CO2 emissions will reach a plateau of 12 billion metric tons by 2033, and then fall off to 11 billion metric tons at mid-century. The results of this study could impact government policies regarding renewable energy developement and greenhouse gas emissions.
- China’s Energy and Carbon Emissions Outlook to 2050
N. Zhou, D. Fridley, M. McNeil, N. Zheng, J. Ke, M. Levine,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report, 2011.
Publication Number: LBNL-4472E