Report | 2018

Reinventing Fire China

By Energy Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, RMI
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Reinventing Fire: China answers the question: how can the world’s largest economy decouple its economic growth from emissions growth? This whole systems energy analysis looks at how to reduce energy use across all end-use sectors (industry, buildings, and transportation), and re-powering the remaining energy demand with primarily clean energy, all at least cost. We conclude that China can support a 7x larger economy in 2050, using roughly the same amount of primary energy and emitting 40% less CO2 than in 2010, with a net present savings of $3.1 trillion USD over that time period. This research, conducted with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and China’s Energy Research Institute within the National Development and Reform Commission, employs technically viable solutions commercially available today to achieve this transformation, and demonstrates how China can economically peak its primary energy use and emissions 5 and 11 years earlier, respectively. These approaches could help China significantly advance their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and would be critical to putting the world on the pathway toward a sub-2 degree world.