Country Snapshots
CCS is important for different regions and is moving forward

CCS in China

Overview

China is the world's most populous country with the second largest economy, which is growing rapidly. Underpinned by fossil fuels, China’s currently high and rising energy demand resulted in China surpassing the US to become the world's largest contributor to CO2 emissions in 2007. Fossil-based energy will continue to dominate China’s energy supply in the foreseeable future.

China's total CO2 emissions (excluding land use change) are estimated to have accounted for almost 25 per cent (7,200 MtCO2e) of total world emissions in 2008. Energy-related CO2 emissions (electricity and heat, manufacturing and construction, transportation and other fuel combustion) accounted for 90 per cent (6,508 MtCO2e) and industrial processes, 10 per cent (692 MtCO2e) of China’s CO2 emissions.

CO2 Emissions by Sector in 2008

Figure 1. CO2 Emissions by Sector in 2008 (excludes land use change). Source: World Resources Institute, Climate Analysis Indicators Tool http://cait.wri.org/

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal and holds an estimated 14 per cent (third largest behind the US and Russia) of the world’s total coal reserves. In 2008, 71 per cent of China’s energy consumption was sourced from coal, equivalent to almost half the world’s coal consumption. Oil is the next largest source of energy consumption at 19 per cent, the majority of which is imported, and is growing rapidly.  The shares of gas, hydroelectricity, nuclear and other renewables are still quite small and in total amount to just over 10 per cent of the energy consumption mix.

Total Energy Consumption by Type in 2008

Figure 2. Total Energy Consumption by Type in 2008. Source: China Country Analysis, US Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=CH

Policy environment

China is taking a systematic approach to deploy CCS, based on the establishment of a strong R&D base, followed by the roll-out of large-scale demonstration projects. CCS was identified in the Outline for National Medium and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan Towards 2020 as one of the leading-edge technologies for further development. CCS has also been supported under China’s science and technology programs during the 10th and 11th five-year planning periods, and support for the technology has increased under the current 12th Five-Year Plan (FYP). The FYPs map China’s objectives and goals for social and economic development and industrial planning in key sectors and regions.

The 12th Five-Year Work Plan on Controlling GHG Emissions was drafted by the Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission (DCC-NDRC) and issued by the Central Government in November 2011. The plan covers the period from 2011-15 and devotes considerable attention to energy and climate change with specific references to CCS, or CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) as it is often referred to in China. Under this work plan, China has set the goal of developing carbon capture experimental projects in the thermal power, coal-chemical, cement, and steel sectors and developing fully integrated CCUS demonstration projects with the captured CO2 to be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and geological storage. The plan also states China’s aim of developing new CCUS technologies and indigenous intellectual property rights.

In April 2013, the NDRC issued a more detailed notice on Promoting Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Pilot and Demonstration. This document notes that promoting CCUS is an important task in the 12th Five-Year Work Plan on Controlling GHG Emissions approved by the State Council, which clearly indicates the need to develop CCS pilot and demonstration plants in a range of industries. The document outlines six 'primary working tasks' which should be undertaken in the short term. These tasks cover a range of activities, from developing pilot and demonstration projects, through establishing financial incentive mechanisms, strengthening planning mechanisms, promoting CCUS standards and regulations, and strengthening capacity building and international collaboration. The document also states that NDRC will lead other ministries and institutes across China to coordinate activities in relation to CCUS. A translated version of this document is available here.

The coal-chemical sector, an important strategic industry sector, features in a number of China’s policy documents in the context of CCUS. The 12th Five-Year Plan on Coal Industry Development, published by the NDRC in March 2012, states that China will support research and demonstration of CCUS. In addition, China’s Notification on Orderly Development of Coal-Chemistry, issued by NDRC in March 2011, requires all new coal-chemical demonstration projects to be capable of substantially reducing CO2 emissions. This means that newly-built coal-chemical demonstration projects will need to consider installing technologies such as large-scale CCUS facilities in order to control their CO2 emissions.

More broadly, China’s target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the 12th FYP includes:

  • reducing carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per unit of GDP) by 17 per cent;
  • reducing energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) by 16 per cent; and
  • increasing the share of non-fossil energy to 11.4 per cent.

Status of CCS

China has one of the largest numbers of CCS pilot projects in the world and some of these projects are currently in operation. With the experience and confidence gained from implementing these pilot projects, there has been significant growth in the number of large-scale fully integrated projects (LSIP) being proposed.  As at February 2014, the Institute recorded 12 LSIPs in China, double the number of projects in 2011 (six).

Most of the proposed LSIPs are driven by major state-owned power generation, coal and oil companies and many also involve major international partner(s) who are able to bring their experience and expertise to the project. 

The choice of capture technology for China’s LSIPs has typically favored pre-combustion capture from power plants and coal chemical plants. However, recently, there has been a notable increase in interest in oxyfuel projects.

In terms of storage, there continues to be a particularly strong focus on using the captured CO2 for commercial applications that may generate a revenue stream. The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been practiced in China since 2006 and the majority of the proposed LSIPs are considering EOR as their preferred storage option. There are also two PCC pilot projects currently in operation which sells food-grade CO2 for food and beverage production.   

Key Organisations

Government & Academia

Industry

Global CCS Institute activities in China

The Global CCS Institute and DCC-NDRC entered into an MOU to "strengthen cooperation on CCS"  in March 2012. Under the MOU, the parties will cooperate on a range of activities aimed at accelerating CCS in China including the promotion of technical and non-technical cooperation; encouraging further research; co-supporting demonstration projects; and developing industrial and academic networks.  Click here to view the MOU press release.

To support the Institute’s increased and ongoing engagement in China, the Institute opened its Beijing Office in March 2013. This office works closely with the Institute’s Chinese stakeholders and Members, ensuring the Institute continues to deliver targeted services and advice to stakeholders.

The Institute is facilitating knowledge sharing and building capacity in China, through the delivery of annual thematic workshops. These workshops are held as collaborative efforts with DCC-NDRC. The Institute also builds Chinese capacity through its direct engagement with projects, both in China and globally. Most notably, the Institute has established a long-term partnership with the Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Corp., Ltd., to share in the company’s CCS experience based on the implementation of their CCS demonstration project(s). Valuable knowledge and experience gained as a result of this partnership will be disseminated to benefit other CCS projects. Click here to view the press release.

The Global CCS Institute has also provided significant funds to its strategic partners including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Clinton Foundation and the International Energy Agency to enable these organisations to carry out CCS activities in China and elsewhere. 

Translated reports

The status of CCS globally, including large scale integrated projects in China are tracked and reported in the Institute’s annual Global Status of CCS Report. We have translated the following reports into Chinese:

* The Chinese translation was provided by the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Energy Resource and Chemical Engineering with support from Shenzhen Linkschina Investment Advisory.
The information above was last updated on 18 Feb 2014.

Large-Scale Integrated Projects in China

A complete list of LSIPs globally is available at http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/data/status-ccs-project-database