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New Circumstances and Requirements in the Shift to Clean and Low-carbon Energy

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-07-20

Accelerating the shift to clean and low-carbon energy is essential to safeguard our national energy security and ensure we achieve peak carbon and carbon neutrality on schedule. It is also a necessity to promote high-quality development of our energy sector and quickly become a global energy leader for China. This requires systemic and fundamental changes to the energy system, which poses new opportunities and challenges.

Profound adjustments will be made to the energy structure. We will develop and utilize clean and low-carbon energy on a huge scale to gradually replace the role of traditional fossil fuels as the linchpin of China's energy system. The proportion of China's primary energy consumption accounted for by non-fossil fuels is predicted to increase from 16% in 2020 to 25% in 2030 and 80% by 2060, and the future energy development will be characterized by a combination of centralized and distributed energy resources.

Energy utilization will be complex and diverse. Electric energy utilization is expanding into many new areas. New modes and services are emerging, such as electric vehicles, data centers, and energy efficiency services. Multi-energy complementarity and flexible conversion between electricity, gas, cold, thermal, hydrogen, and other energy types are expanding. A change in end-use energy sources, particularly to electricity, is becoming the mainstream. And energy utilization methods are increasingly diversified, personalized, integrated, and interactive.

Scientific and technological innovations in the energy sector will accelerate integrated development. New technologies and equipment for new energy development, multi-energy conversion, advanced energy storage, carbon capture, utilization and storage, and energy system controls are emerging one after another. In-depth integration of digital and energy technologies is progressing, and the energy system is becoming smarter and more open, efficient, and consumer-friendly.

The energy sector will develop rapidly. Many dynamic new market entities have entered the sector and traditional energy companies are racing to transform themselves, which has given rise to a raft of new services as well as new forms and models of business, such as integrated energy services, energy big data, platform businesses, and energy aggregators. The industrial chain and ecology of the energy sector is changing profoundly, creating a new energy ecosystem.