Could #zerocarboneconomy become a new, ‘green’ reality in China by 2020?

Key lessons learned from the Innovation Conference 2017 #zerocarboneconomy

China set up the clean energy targets to be attained by 2020, but how that could be possible? The best occasion to search for answers was Innovation Conference 2017 that took place on Nov.9th in Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI).

The event was co-organized by the European Union Chamber of Commerce and brought together the leading organizations and experts who drive the transition into #zerocarboneconomy in China, following the 13FYP plan. The 13FYP plan was published by the National Energy Administration and sets the clean energy targets to be achieved by 2020.

I participated in this event with my colleague from Antal China, Sally Xu, who is also an Industry recruiter. After the panel discussion, we had a chance to visit SARI Key Laboratory of Low-Carbon Conversion Science and Engineering. The LCCC is a joint R&D center with Lu’an Mining Industry Group and CAS Institute of Coal Chemistry.  The central theme of the conference was: How to drive the transition to a Low or even Zero Carbon Economy in China?

We can focus on five key areas:

1.       Hybrid Energy Systems

2.       Carbon Capture and Utilization or Storage

3.       C1/Syngas Conversion

4.       Computation

5.       New Materials

Firstly, we need to continue our efforts to innovate in the alternative energy fields. As we know, solar, wind, hydropower and nuclear energy are all alternatives for coal-generated electricity. What else in Green Tech is going on?  Is Liquid Sunshine (=Solar+H2+Methanol) the answer?

Secondly, we should continuously search how to achieve high energy efficiency.  The examples include innovation to accelerate the solar energy transition; research for the carbon recycle or CCUS (carbon capture, utilization, and storage); usage of algae in low carbon research.

One of the most critical questions is how to make Green Tech economically viable. Institutional -government-enterprises collaboration is vital to achieving this goal. Companies like Siemens understand what is technologically and economically feasible to transition to a low carbon energy system soon.

We asked one of the conference speakers, Mr. Andreas Eisfelder , Director of Strategy, at the Siemens Energy Management Division in Shanghai to answer a couple of questions:

Mr. Eisfelder, Siemens itself is going carbon neutral, how are you going to achieve this goal?

Siemens is one of the first major industrial companies aiming to achieve a worldwide net-zero carbon footprint by 2030. To reach this goal, we will invest some 100 million Euros in energy-efficiency projects at our production facilities and buildings until 2020. I believe this is also important to attract and retain talent and good people. We make real what matters. That’s our aspiration. That’s what we stand for.

How realistic is #zerocarboneconomy in China?

In 2017, China is making significant steps towards #zerocarboneconomy. It is accelerating measures to integrate more renewable energy and starting to change the mindset of people and companies by providing incentives for energy efficiency and to use less carbon technologies. I am also glad to see that China is stepping up for this target on the international level.

Organizations such as Shell, SOLVAY, Air Liquide and Siemens are already making substantial investments in R&D towards #zerocarboneconomy. Solar power could become China’s main energy source by 2020. China has repetitively reinforced its decarbonization targets, moving away from fossil fuels and is expected to become the biggest electric car market.

Are these also signals for energy, technology, and automotive recruiters? Will Green Business be the next BIG THING in specialized recruitment?

Written by Zandra ZhangIndustry Recruiter @Antal China

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