In China, where soaring electricity demand has led to a surge in coal-fired generation facilities, severe air pollution has forced the government to enact new environmental policies and establish new goals. At the end of 2013, about 10% of China’s power came from non-fossil fuel sources. The new goal is to double that percentage to around 20% by 2030. China is also committing to peaking its carbon dioxide emissions by that time, despite the growing demand for power.
In the United States, where similar commitments have been made in recent years, new goals were established. The U.S. intends to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. This represents a substantial reduction in emissions that has already been characterized as “unrealistic”. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has suggested that the U.S. economy could not sustain such a drastic change.
While these new targets may require some drastic changes for power companies, and perhaps the goals are even unrealistic, there is no denying the fact that changes are inevitable. It is time to start investigating the options available to companies who want to start complying.
Obviously, updating equipment at power plants will be a necessity in …