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Caution: Tough Choices Ahead: This month we tackle tough choices ahead in power expansion. There are no one-size-fits all solutions for China in the water-energy-climate nexus. Water supply solutions such as desalination and water diversion are power intensive while climate solutions like carbon capture and storage require more water.  At the same time, China is still hungry for power but has limited water resources. Can China manage this?
   
April Newsletter
 
Tapping In

Caution: Tough Choices Ahead: This month we tackle tough choices ahead in power expansion. There are no one-size-fits all solutions for China in the water-energy-climate nexus. Water supply solutions such as desalination and water diversion are power intensive while climate solutions like carbon capture and storage require more water.  At the same time, China is still hungry for power but has limited water resources. Can China manage this?

Many Chinese experts like Professor Xie Kechang, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering believe that China is not yet ready to move away from coal. Indeed, State Council's 4.2 billion tonne coal consumption cap indicates an additional consumption of +690 million tonnes by 2020. 

More coal means more carbon emissions and accelerated glacier melt but more hydropower could mean tapping of China's transboundary rivers to the ire of it's downstream neighbours. Meanwhile, China's inland nuclear power expansion plans in densely populated river basins face scrutiny over water contamination fears. Non-reliant water power such as wind and solar could provide relief but not all solar tech is water-friendly. Moreover, aggressive wind power expansion could intensify little talked about hidden water risks in rare earth mining. 
 
We explore all the above and more in our newly published report  “TOWARDS A WATER & ENERGY SECURE CHINA – Tough choices ahead in power expansion with limited water resources”. Check out some key insights from the report in the articles below.
 

Towards Water & Energy Security
What strategies are being used to add power with limited water? Get a comprehensive overview of water risk across China's power landscape

 
  Read this article
   
China: Not Ready To Move Away From Coal
Professor Xie Kechang, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, on the future role of coal, energy security & challenges ahead for coal-to-chemicals
  Read this article →
   
China's Pursuit Of Energy Savings
Our report  "Towards A Water & Energy Secure China" shows that billions of cubic metres of water can be saved via energy savings. See why China has no choice but to pursue this strategy
  Read this article
   
Balancing Water For Agri & Coal
China's coal mines lie next to its farmlands, balancing water for both will be key. See why controlling water use between agriculture & coal is key in ensuring both food & energy security
  Read this article →
   
Wind & Solar: Hidden Water Risks
China is looking at aggressive renewable expansion with wind & solar set to soar. But could this intensify toxic exposure from rare earth mining and how thirsty is solar really?
  Read this article
   
China Nuclear: The Future Is Unclear
Will China's nuclear ambitions be thwarted by water risks and contamination fears? Can we avoid inland nuclear expansion? What are the alternatives?
  Read this article
   
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Government Reports Interest
  • NDRC approves Shenhua Yulin CTC project; world’s largest at 2.2mt p.a.
  • MEP & affiliates: to exit EIA services by end of 2016 to avoid corruption
  • MWR: Haihe, Yellow & Liaohe rivers water use close to/ greater than recharge rate
  • First lawsuit accepted under new law: RMB 30mn from Zhenhua Co. for air pollution
  • Safer foods, not bumper harvests now a priority; maybe 85% grain self sufficiency by 2020
  • Zero growth aim for use of chemical fertilisers & pesticides by 2020
  • 100mn cum of water transferred to Beijing by S-N project by 23 March
  • Evaluation index to measure circular economy
  • Gansu: company fined RMB3 mn & shutdown for discharging wastewater into the Tengger Desert
  • Liaoning: video monitoring system in 160 water treatment plants installed
  • Lanzhou Petrochemical to compensate RMB109 mn for city's sewage system
Hot on Weibo:
  • Rising concern over coal-to-chemicals in Northwest
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