China reduced CO2 emissions by 8% in 4 months

The carbon bubble is popping faster than most people imagined, and renewable sun, wind, and water power is taking over.

Ari Phillips, ThinkProgress, 15 May 2015, It Only Took Four Months For China To Achieve A Jaw-Dropping Reduction In Carbon Emissions,

China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, so small decreases in its emissions seem like monumental feats when compared to other countries. According to a new analysis, in the first four months of 2015, China’s coal use fell almost 8 percent compared to the same period last year — a reduction in emissions that’s approximately equal to the total carbon dioxide emissions of the U.K. over the same period.

The analysis, published by Greenpeace and Energydesk China, reviewed data from a number of sources, including China’s industrial output, and found that China had reduced its coal output by 6.1 percent in the first four months of 2015. The research team calculated that the drop in coal use translates into a nearly 5 percent drop in domestic CO2 emissions.

Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst who worked on the Greenpeace report, told RTCC that the report shows that China’s industrial output and thermal power generation are falling while renewable energy sources like hydro, wind, and solar are growing fast.

Niall McCarthy, Forbes, 12 May 2015, China’s Revolution In Wind Energy [Infographic],

Back in 2010, China became the world’s largest wind energy producer and the boom is continuing unabated, fuelled by government support and ambitious renewable energy targets. Data from the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) revealed that wind energy surpassed nuclear for the very first time in 2012 to become the country’s third largest source of electricity, after coal and hydro-electric power.

That article says China’s economy may start growing faster, but coal use won’t go back up, because China is capping coal use, while wind and solar power keep going up; especially solar. (It adds that India just agreed with China on a similar path.)

So in China it’s Coal #1, Water #2, and Wind #3. Next:


China is now at 33.12 GW. If it hits the official 2015 target of 17.8 GW, China this year will soar past Germany — at 38.2 GW but expected to add only around 2 GW in 2015 — and claim the top spot in global solar. In its 2011-15 five-year plan for solar, China had been aiming to get to 35 GW by the end of this year, but it now appears likely to land as much as 10 GW above that figure….

What’s driving solar growth in China? While in the United States and other Western countries the discussion centers on climate change, China has a motivations that are perhaps less abstract: Domestic installations support its vast solar manufacturing capacity and fossil fuel-generation is a major factor in its desperate pollution problems.

So the same thing will happen in China as in the U.S.: solar power will overtake even wind power. I don’t know how long that will take in China, but in the U.S. in less than another eight years, as predicted two years ago and borne out by solar deployment more than doubling every two years. Now acellerated by the burgeoning battery market. The only real impediment is fracking-driven methane pipelines to LNG export. Anybody betting on fracking better watch out for fracking bans, as more states and countries catch on that poisoned water, increased earthquakes, and land takings aren’t worth promises of jobs that don’t materialize. Solar power has none of those problems.

Meanwhile, electric vehicles are already ramping up to replace the internal combustion engine. That last may take another decade. Or less.

Remember, Henry Ford introduced his assembly line in 1914, and it only took a few years for cars to mostly replace horses and buggies. Sure, there’s a far vaster fossil fuel, electricity, and transportation infrasture in place now, but Ford couldn’t keep reducing the price of a Model T year after year, and solar power does continue to decrease in price, even after solar is already cheaper than every other power source.

Andrew Nikiforuk, Resilience, 15 March 2013, The Big Shift Last Time: From Horse Dung to Car Smog,

“There were winners and losers,” says Ann Norton Greene, a U.S. historian at the University of Pennsylvania, whose remarkable book, Horses At Work, offers a fascinating portrait of how messy energy transitions can be.

“You can’t change the conditions of a system without damaging a lot of people, business, practices and habits that go with it,” says Greene. “People lose not from some fault of their own, but because they are in the wrong place in history.”

If you’re an organization still betting on fossil fuels in 2015, you’re going to lose, because you’re on the wrong side of history.