Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced in Beijing the launch of “Reinventing Fire: China,” an effort to create an analytically robust model that outlines a path for China to economically meet its energy needs using the maximum share of efficiency and renewables through 2050.
Together, the U.S. and China account for about 38 percent of global energy use and 43 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Working with a unique team of American and Chinese partners, RMI plans to deliver an analysis of the four energy-producing and -consuming sectors of the economy (buildings, industry, transportation, and electricity) to spotlight the economic, social, and environmental benefits of rapidly deploying renewables and energy efficiency technologies in China.
“The transition to an efficient and clean global energy future cannot happen without leadership from both China and the United States,” said Amory Lovins, RMI’s chief scientist and chairman emeritus. “Reinventing Fire: China will serve as a platform for pan-Pacific cooperation and leadership between the world’s two largest economies for one of the most pressing issues of our time.”
Reinventing Fire: China is developing insights that will lead to actions—policies, technology development, and adoption approaches—and is designed to build an enduring resource that can be applied by Chinese leaders to continually advance the country’s global clean energy efforts. To complete this work, RMI is partnering with Energy Research Institute (ERI), the energy think-tank of China’s National Development and Reform Commission; China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); and Energy Foundation’s China Sustainable Energy Group (CSEP).
“We want to have a beautiful China and need to break through our existing energy constraints. That is why Reinventing Fire: China is so important,” said Deputy Secretary General of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhao Jiarong, a leader on the initiative’s advisory panel.
“China is undergoing a critical period of transformation. We have encountered a number of challenges: environment and climate change, economic development, and resource availability. Reinventing Fire is an exciting vision for China to pursue to solve these problems,” added Yang Hongwei, Director of the Energy Efficiency Center at China’s Energy Research Institute.
Reinventing Fire is a compelling vision for China to consider as an instrument to promote a revolution in energy production and consumption. Today, China is experiencing staggering growth in energy production and consumption, recently surpassing the U.S. to become the world’s largest gross energy consumer and carbon emitter, (although the U.S. still leads those categories in per-capita calculations). And, while previous energy studies have provided key insights, no model currently exists that integrates all four sectors while also examining technical feasibility and economic impact.
The two-year project has several planned deliverables, including an executive report disseminated to key Chinese government, business, and thought leaders; policy briefing and recommendations authored by ERI; and an online database documenting analytic approaches, assumptions, and calculations. An advisory panel consisting of key Chinese energy stakeholders—including leaders responsible for writing China’s 13th Five Year Plan, the country’s social and economic development initiatives—will guide the effort.
“China needs to build a sustainable energy infrastructure to preserve environmental quality and support future growth,” said Jon Creyts, the RMI program director leading the project. “This project builds on the rigorous analysis of RMI’s Reinventing Fire vision, released in 2011, and will offer practical and actionable solutions that China and other developing countries can follow.”
Rocky Mountain Institute is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit think-and-do tank with offices in Snowmass and Boulder, Colorado. RMI emphasizes integrative design, advanced technologies, and mindful markets in fulfilling its mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI’s strategic focus is to map and drive the U.S. transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by 2050. Please visit http://www.rmi.org for more information.