As one of the world’s largest countries, China is also one of the world’s largest producers of greenhouse or planet-warming emissions. The country isn’t getting behind on efforts to change that status, though, as it’s now leading the fight against climate change. The most recent is a plan to open eight large-scale, carbon-capture storage facilities, construction on the first of which is already underway.
The Yanchang Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project, located in the Shaanxi Province, will be China’s first investment in a facility that turns carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal into gas fuel plants. Once fully operational, it would capture about 400,00 to 800,000 tons of CO2 every year, according to AFR Weekend. That’s about the same reduction that could be expected by taking 80,000 cars off the streets for a year.
“It’s one of eight large-scale CCS projects — in varying stages of evaluation and subject to approval — that China is considering,” Tony Zhang, a senior adviser in Australia-based Global CCS Institute, told the Digital Journal. The non-profit institute provided China with technical and advisory support on the project.
Carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology has recently been in the headlines, with the opening of the world’s first commercial carbon capture plant in Switzerland earlier this month. A similar facility is expected to go live later this year in Houston, Texas. This approach to solving the climate problem attempts to make fossil fuel-based plants cleaner.
It’s not the only proposed solution out there, though: recently, there has been a surge in renewable energy sources, as evidence by the growing reliance on solar and wind in a number of countries. These are also becoming a more economic solution in many parts of the world, as well as providing a wealth of job opportunities. CCS plants, on the other hand, may prove to be too costly for some countries.
For China, every effort counts. Aside from its investment in CCS, the country is also working on increasing its renewable energy sources — it’s already the world’s largest producer of solar energy — as well as using more electric vehicles in a number of its cities. China is looking to decrease its CO2 emissions from 2016 to about one percent this year, according to a forecast by its National Energy Administration.