Shanghai ramps up carbon emission reduction pledge with smart technologies
The Shanghai government says that it will go all out to save energy and reduce green house gas emissions in its power and steel sector as well as chemical industry in a bid to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2025.
The plan was been stipulated in the draft outline of the city's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development alongside long-term objectives that will be rolled out through to the year 2035.
To facilitate energy conservation efforts in the city's industrial parks, Shanghai has developed a "magic box," which is essentially an integrated clean energy network. The network spans wind turbines and photovoltaics, energy storage systems, echelon use batteries, and charging stations, and also adopts an intelligent platform to manage the use of energy.
Such a network has already been deployed in industrial parks in Shanghai's Minhang district. It is estimated that phase one of the project will save the equivalent energy to 665 tonnes of standard coal every year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,760 tonnes. A further 1.8 tonnes of poisonous gas will be reduced.
The city's low-carbon and green growth has also posed mounting challenges to its steel sector which is in the middle of industrial transformation and upgrading. On Jan. 20, steel giant China Baowu Steel Group announced projections for limiting its carbon dioxide emissions.
"China Baowu Steel Group will strive to peak our carbon dioxide emissions by 2023," said the company's chairman Chen Derong. "We will possess the technologies needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2025, then work to accomplish a further 30% reduction by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050."
To help steel and petrochemical companies improve production efficiency in the low-carbon era, Shanghai issued an action plan on smart manufacturing in September 2020. The plan outlined how Shanghai will build 100 smart factories in three years.
So far, such technological efforts have paid off. For example, China Baowu Steel Group have furnished its workshops in a cold rolling mill with automatic robots, remote operation and maintenance facilities, and AI technologies. According to the head of the mill, since the smart upgrading, energy consumption and comprehensive pollutants per tonne of steel have been reduced by 15% and 30%, respectively. Meanwhile, work efficiency and production capacity have been increased by 30% and 20%, respectively. The cost of processing has also been reduced by 10%.
"Shanghai will integrate advanced low-carbon technologies and industrial resources from around the world, while also supporting the growth of green industries such as new energy, new materials, and high-end equipment manufacturing," said Cheng Peng, head of Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment.
In addition, Shanghai is also one of the first cities in China to establish institutions and systems for carbon emissions trading management. So far, Shanghai's carbon trading system includes some 300 companies and 400 investment institutions in 27 industries related to steel, power, and chemical production as well as aviation, water transportation, and construction industries.
The city's low-carbon efforts continue today. Natural gas projects are being initiated in major business and exhibition regions. Meanwhile, an "internet plus" demo project for clean energy has been introduced in Chongming district's Xin'an village, which is expected to become a model region for zero-carbon development.
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