Man-made climate change really is the problem that won’t go away, unless, of course, we do two things: switch fossil fuels for renewable energy and nuclear power, and invest in science to push nuclear fusion, a clean, limitless supply of power, to the fore. Scientists are busy working away at the latter, so in the meantime, the world must focus on the former.
To this end, a new study in the journal Nature Energy has revealed that the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, China, could start its own renewables revolution if it wanted to. By 2030, China could provide an incredible 26 percent of its projected electricity demand if it was to invest heavily in wind power, up from a current share of 3 percent.
The catch, in this case, is that it should not build most of its wind power plants in its most recognizably windy areas. Instead, it should construct more turbines in regions where they can be effortlessly integrated into the workings of its pre-existing electricity grid.
Beijing's smog problem is becoming too troublesome for the government to simply ignore anymore. Shaun Robinson/Shutterstock
“Wind that is built in distant, resource-rich areas benefits from more favorable physical properties but suffers from existing constraints on the operation of the power system,” lead author Valerie Karplus, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and director of the Tsinghua-MIT China Energy and Climate Project, said in a statement.