The Asian Perspective on the Global Energy Landscape: 2050 and Beyond

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Joanna Lewis, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Asia has emerged as the epicenter of clean energy deployment over the last decade. China is leading the world in clean energy investment and deployment, while India, South Korea and others have put forth aggressive plans to scale up clean energy in the coming years. Most of the energy policy focus in Asia to date has been on near term targets and policies, although a larger conversation about low-carbon energy transitions over the next century is underway. While there are few policies that extend beyond 2030 or even 2020, high profile modeling studies are being commissioned by governments to look at policy scenarios for 2050 and beyond. This presentation will discuss energy policies and portfolios for Asia with a focus on China. The presentation will focus on China’s clean energy landscape, including the current policy and investment context and technical and economic constraints, as well as the outlook for aggressive clean energy and decarbonization scenarios in 2050 and beyond. Specific topic areas include grid integration challenges, carbon reduction goals, barriers to renewable technology adoption, and economic impacts of major shifts in energy policies. The talk will examine the results of recent modeling studies examining high penetration scenarios for renewable energy and for achieving current carbon mitigation targets, as well as an assessment of the viability of achieving policy targets proposed in Paris and in national plans. Reflecting on the recent Paris Agreement, this presentation will also discuss the role that China and emerging Asia played in the climate negotiations, and how these countries—due to their scale and their continued reliance on coal—are particularly crucial to any shift towards a low carbon energy economy globally.