SHANGHAI: Electrification will play a key role in China’s decarbonisation, especially in sectors such as steel, building and transportation, experts say.
China’s electrification drive has progressed steadily over the past few years, alongside the rapid decarbonisation of its power supply.
It is an important strategy for the country to reach its carbon neutrality goals by significantly curbing and reducing final energy consumption through higher efficiencies in many areas, said Gong Jicheng, a researcher at the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Peking University.
Gong made the remarks during the release of the Synergetic Roadmap of Carbon Neutrality and Clean Air for China 2023, jointly held in Beijing by Tsinghua University, the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Peking University, the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, the Energy Foundation, and the China Clean Air Policy Partnership.
Electrification means replacing technologies or processes that use fossil fuels, like internal combustion engines and gas boilers, with electrically powered equivalents, such as electric vehicle engines or heat pumps.
These replacements are typically more efficient, reducing energy demand, and have a growing impact on emissions as electricity generation is decarbonised, the International Energy Agency said.
In the transportation sector for example, China has pioneered the development and promotion of electric vehicles, whose growing adoption and expansion have contributed substantially to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation system, Gong said.
Electrification in the steel sector, like the deployment of the electric arc furnace, which heats material by means of an electric arc, can also significantly enhance the energy efficiency of the steel industry, and reduce emissions of major air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, by more than 80% by 2060.
According to the China Electricity Council (CEC), the proportion of electricity in China’s final energy consumption is expected to exceed 30% by 2025 from the current 27%, which is already higher than the world average. — China Daily/ANN