Testing the limits of US-China clean energy deployment

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Over the past eight years, my fascinations have consistently revolved around the various limitations of the world’s transition to clean energy: those defined by materials science on the technologies we can practically produce, those defined by macroeconomics on how we can deploy them, and those defined by politics on just how quickly that transition can take place. The critical centerpiece of that eight-year journey was undoubtedly my three-year stint living, studying, and working in China. Beyond testing personal limitations (such as my ability to adapt to a new culture and absorb a new language), my experience in this country set me on a path to understand the limitations of a clean energy economy -- and, ultimately, how those limitations can be challenged and potentially even surmounted.

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Testing the limits of US-China clean energy deployment

  1. 1. John RomankiewiczNorthwestern UniversityJanuary 17, 2012
  2. 2. • Those defined by materials science on the technologies we can practically produce• Those defined by macroeconomics on how we can deploy them• Those defined by politics on just how quickly that transition can take place
  3. 3. • Prof. Lincoln Lauhon• Confocal Scanning Photocurrent Microscopy of Nanowires• Nanotechnology’s promise for energy: solar, energy storage, fuel cells, etc.
  4. 4. The PV module experience curve, 1976–2010 ($/W)100 1976 198510 2003 2006 2010 1 20100.1 1 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 MW (log) historic prices experience curve Chinese c-Si module prices First Solar thin-film module cost Thin-film experience curve Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, FSLR filings
  5. 5. China’s levelized cost of energy (LCOE) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 $/MWh Solar PV (c-Si) Wind - offshore BiomassWaste to energy Landfill Gas Wind - onshore Natural gas Small hydro Nuclear Coal Large hydro 0.00 0.34 0.68 1.02 1.35 1.69 2.03 2.37 2.71 3.05 CNY/kWh LCOE Central Scenario Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  6. 6. Average lifetime of various products and infrastructure Light bulbs incandescent Light bulbs flourescentOffice equipment: computers, printers, faxes, copiers Consumer electronics: TVs, stereos Consumer appliances: stoves, fridges, washers Residential water heating equipment Residential space heating and cooling equipment Cars Trucks, buses, trucks trailers, tractors Commercial heating and cooling equipment Manufacturing equipment Electric transmission and distribution, telecom,… Power stations Building stock (residential and commercial) Pattern of transport links and urban developments (Years) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Source: IEA
  7. 7. Source: New York Times
  8. 8. www.chinasgreenbeat.com
  9. 9. China investment in clean energy ($bn) 54 47 35 23 13 7 1 32004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  10. 10. China annual power grid capacity growth (GW) 1 13 3 6 14 17 16 15 12 18 28 23 17 10 92 62 70 9 49 54 56 40 47 3 3 2415 132001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Thermal Hydro Wind Source: China Electricity Council, National Energy Administration
  11. 11. • Both countries dominant forces in supply and demand• Chinese exports into the US• Whole value chain analysis http://bit.ly/BNEF-whitepaper
  12. 12. VC/PE investment in US and China PV manufacturing companies, 2004 - Q1 2010 ($m) 1,707 733 700 518 223 237 105 82 15045 0 41 56 162004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 US China Source: Company filing, Bloomberg New Energy Finance Source: company filings, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  13. 13. U.S. vs. China investment in clean energy ($bn) 54 56 47 35 34 31 32 25 23 19 13 10 74 3 12004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 US China Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  14. 14. Sources: Bloomberg,Guardian, NY Times
  15. 15. • US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue• Presidential initiatives • US-China clean energy research centers (clean coal, electric vehicles, building efficiency) • Obama visit to China Nov 2009 • Hu visit to US Jan 2011 Source: Department of Energy, Department of State
  16. 16. • EcoPartnerships• China Energy Group• Fulbright exchange programs
  17. 17. • Understand the dynamics of energy use in China• Strengthen capabilities of Chinese institutions to promote energy efficiency http://china.lbl.gov
  18. 18. • Barriers: technical, macroeconomic, political• US-China: cooperation and competition in clean energy are both important for the global future• How can we remove the barriers to a clean energy economy?
  19. 19. John Romankiewicz 罗大翰Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratoryChina Energy Groupsustainablejohn@gmail.comsustainablejohn.comTwitter @sustainablejohnwww.projectpengyou.org

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