If you read the media headlines, you may get the impression that China intends to become the world’s clean energy and hydrogen superpower. China is even said to be in a race with Europe to become the global green hydrogen leader. In reality, China is only gradually and cautiously adapting its fossil-fuel based energy system. It is not in a hurry to say goodbye to oil, coal and natural gas. [Gas Transitions Volume 2, Issue 2]
There is a lot of discussion in western media about whether China is a genuine “climate leader” or is engaged in a gigantic act of greenwashing. Critics of China’s climate efforts have pointed out that China is continuing to invest heavily in coal-fired power. It currently has 250 GW of new (“clean”) coal-fired capacity in the pipeline, writes Henrik Bork of Asia Waypoint in a recent analysis. That’s more than the entire capacity in the US.
Nevertheless, plenty of news stories are trumpeting China’s renewable…