Hydro electricity now accounts for about 15 percent of China’s total electricity generation. The current hydro electricity generating capacity of China is 100 giga-watts. China’s long-term technical potential of hydro electricity is estimated to be 500 giga-watts.
By 2020, the Chinese government plans to expand China’s wind electricity generating capacity to 100 giga-watts. China’s long-term onshore and offshore wind electricity potential is estimated to be 1,000 giga-watts.
Given the severe constraints imposed by China’s limited biological capacity and water shortage, biomass is unlikely to make a major contribution to China’s future energy supply.
Model prediction (Mingqi Li, 2008)
China’s total energy supply peaks around 2030 and declines at an accelerating pace from 2030 to 2050. By 2050, the Chinese economy sinks into negative growth and permanent decline.
The above assumptions are between optimistic and wildly optimistic. The coal projection is based on the highest estimate of China’s remaining recoverable coal. The oil and natural gas projections are fairly uncontroversial. The hydro electricity is expanded to the limit. Barring unexpected technological miracles, there is little scope for further expansion of nuclear electricity. Both the renewable and energy efficiency projections are on the optimistic side. Energy imports are allowed to grow to the point beyond which the rest of the world would be forced into energy starvation.
(Costless) renewable resources and economic growth
T indicates the (costless) renewable resources, the supply of which are constant.
In a Solow model, rewrite Y=AK α T β L 1- α - β , then the growth rate with land is g- β n/(1- α ) .
The higher the population growth rate, the lower the economic growth rate when natural resources are restrictive.
Economic growth stagnate. Negative long-term growth rate is possible.
Social instability (in two decades)?
The growth of China will lag behind the rest of the world (again) until the next generation of production technology or energy resources are discovered (if they exist).
One-child policy will continue
A long transition periods with an severely ageing economy (retirement age raised; crime rate decline; health sector expands)
Spatial distribution of economy may change
Trade sector declines due to the shortage of labor. Inland economy grow. Coastal economy (land prices) declines.
Dramatic change of economic structure
Energy-intensive industries exit (unemployment spike; another painful transition).
Pollution by 1997 (Edmonds, 1999)
The seven major river systems have been badly polluted.
Ground water and coastal regions are polluted to various degrees.
The SO 2 emission levels in all major Chinese city centres exceed legal limits.
NO x emission (mainly due to automobile traffic) also exceed safety levels in city centres.
Pollution by 1997 (continued)
Intensification of agriculture and the growing TVEs has increased pollution outside cities.
China’s fertilizer usage per hectare is twice the world average.
Rural industrial wastes accounts for 38% of total sold wastes, 7% of industrial waste water, and 56% of industrial dust.
National average of air visibility
E-Waste of China (Tong and Wang, 2004)
How costly is pollution?
Population and Environment of China (Banister, 1998)
Death causes of China
Urban Rural Urban Rural
Com. 49 116 9 15
Card. 208 189 187 186
Inj. 48 80 32 63
Dig. 32 71 14 23
Cancer 87 78 107 84
Resp. 60 126 66 109
Air Pollution and Mortality (Brajer and Mead, 2004)
Pollution and population figures for 38 Chinese cities.
Pollution data are mostly from annual environmental report posted on the Internet by municipal environmental protection bureaus.
Environmental cost of water pollution in Chongqing (Vennemo et al., 2001)
The waters of Chongqing are widely polluted
Almost half of the rivers are heavily or severely polluted by 1996.
Major pollutants: coliform bacteria, ammonia, oil, and other organic pollutants, and heavy metals.
Causes of pollution: industrial waste water, urban sewage, waste, soil erosion, and atmospheric deposition.
Environmental Kuznets Curve
Environmental Kuznets Curve
A hump-shaped relationship between per capita income and pollution.
Anti-Pollution Institution and Policies (Vermeer, 1998)
State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
A nation-wide control network built in the 1980s
Partly supported by foreign project funding
Employees doubled between 1985 and 1995 to 88,000 people.
Very limited power: TVEs hardly monitored; inspection is uneven and infrequent.
Pollution Enforcement in China (Wang and Wheeler, 2003)
Around 3,000 heavily polluting firms in China in 1993.
Actual pollution levy
China’s Pollution Levy System
The idea of a pollution charge system was adopted in 1978.
By 1982, 27 of 29 provinces in China established some pollution levy system.
Verification and collection of levies by local environmental authorities.
Effective levy rates vary significantly across Chinese provinces.