China Energy Report Featured

June 24, 2021

Key findings from the 2020 China Energy Outlook report — which outlines a path for continuous improvement of energy efficiency and emissions through 2050 in China — were recently highlighted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel summarized the analysis of China’s current energy policies and trends. While China has taken steps to improve its global energy footprint and is on track to meet its own five-year goals for energy and emission reduction, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise as the country’s large industrial sector remains reliant on coal. 

The report is produced by the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). For more than 30 years the group has provided informative research on energy efficiency in China.

“To achieve carbon neutrality, China will need to employ an aggressive combination of measures including efficiency improvement, fuel switching, demand reduction, and further decarbonization of the power sector,” said Nan Zhou, lead of the China Energy Group and head of the International Energy Analysis Department. “Emerging technologies like carbon capture and storage and hydrogen energy will become more important in the long run. For now, there is still a lot of work cut out for us to deploy existing technologies and market-based solutions.”

China has committed to increasing its share of energy from non-fossil sources to 20% by 2030 as the country aims for peak CO2 emissions around the same time. In addition, Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged carbon neutrality by 2060. The China Energy Outlook reviews policies that will help China meet its ambitious targets, including appliance-efficiency standards, fuel economy standards, and electric vehicle incentives. 

China is currently the world’s highest consumer of energy and produces 29% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Berkeley Lab scientists continue to explore new pathways for China to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming decades.