In order to optimize any future energy development, China should integrate nuclear or renewable energy so that they bring down to a minimum the use of high-carbon energy resources. A recent study published in the first issue for the year of the journal Scientic Sinica Chemica, presents a low-carbon hybrid energy system, which provides a strategic solution to the problem.
It is well-known, that coal is the dominating energy source in China. With growing population and demands for energy, the country is now facing a big challenge to meet the imposed CO2 emission reductions.
This would only be possible if the country replaces fossil fuel with a low-carbon alternative. A potential scheme should incorporate the production of low-carbon energy, which can efficiently reduce CO2 emissions.
The study in question proposes a solution, which efficiently integrates nuclear, wind, solar, biomass as well as hydro power, and targets directly CO2 emissions and carbon recycling. The new low-carbon hybrid system integrates the high- and low-carbon energy resources, and it takes into account the current energy situation in China.
Nuclear and renewable energy sources will generate electricity or heat, which will then be put in a high/low temperature electrolysis reaction to produce H2 for a high-carbon system. The water-gas shift reaction will then suppress the CO2 emission. In addition, the process of CO2 hydrogenation will utilize CO2 further.
The study provides explanations for both nuclear-assisted coal-based energy system and wind/solar-assisted coal (biomass)-based systems. The authors conclude that the low-carbon hybrid energy system should be considered as a step forward towards green future energy development for China.