Chinese Low-carbon Innovation Drives post-Paris Era

Chinese Low-carbon Innovation Drives post-Paris Era

On April 27th, the 2015-2016 WWF Climate Solver China awarding ceremony was held in Beijing. This event aims to promote champions in the necessary economic transition of our global society towards a 100% renewable energy future through innovations intechnology and business models. The five most promising Chinese low-carbon technologies this year were awarded as the 2015-2016 WWF Climate Solvers. None of these five innovations existed on the market four years ago. As a collective their commercialistaion from now on carry the hope of increasing resource and energy efficiency 3-10 times in relevant sectors of replacing inefficient, carbon intensive practices and materials in fertilizers, water pipes, animal feed and data storage. They also spearhead the future of solar energy by already now aiming to increase resource efficiency, energy efficiency, production speed and lifespan of standard solar panels and heaters by 4-10 times.

On April 22nd, 175 countries officially signed the Paris Agreement, marking the solid step towards combating climate change after 2020. The international society has to accelerate the process of innovation and application of low carbon technology to achieve the goal of net zero emission of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. During COP21 in Paris, 20 countries, including China, US and Australia, launched Mission Innovation, committing Governments to double their investments in cleantech R&D and launching Breakthrough Energy Coalition for private sector actors to take a leading role in financing important start-ups that can help achieve net zero emissions as fast as possible over years to come.

The Chinese economy has started it “New Normal” period after 30 years high speed economic growth. Transformation, upgrading of the productivity and diversity of innovation will become the main force to promote future economic growth. China is now trying to transform into being a fertile ground for innovation, creating a rare opportunity for the development and innovation of low-carbon technology in China as well as the world. Compared to other countries a high share of the Chinese population, in particular young 25-35 year old entrepreneurs, are now about to start or have just started new opportunity-driven business.

In November 2015, WWF launched the fourth “Climate Solver” selection with its partners. The project experts examined the potential of enterpreneurs emission reduction if there is good growth, technological innovation, market potential and other indicators through open and transparent procedure. And eventually the jury marked out the five most promising innovations, which are Bamboo Winding Pipelines, High-efficient, Flexible and Ultra-thin c-Si Solar cells/Modules, Flat Solar Collector Utilizing Heat Superconducting Material & Heat and PV Combined Module, Optimal Management Technology for Optical Disc-based Cold Data Storage System and Food Waste Treatment and Nutrition Recovery by Black Soldier Fly. If their five technologies could take good market shares from standard products in their sectors today by 2025, it will realize over 231 million tons CO2 emission per year.

WWF's climate solver project was set up in Sweden in 2008. It has been committed to identifying commercially available innovation developed by small and medium sized entrepreneurs (MSMEs) with a significant impact on avoiding emissions and providing clean energy access to poor communities. The Project also aims to communicate these innovations in an easy way to get the public more interested, engaged in and informed about the importance of climate innovations. It also provides access to potential investors, larger corporates and actors involved in international cooperation. Since it was introduced into China in 2012, WWF climate solver has been successfully hosted four times and selected 19 award-winning innovations in total. By promoting innovation cases and their potential to avoid emissions if they have strong growth is a way for WWF to make the potential of cleantech innovation more widely recognized by larger investors, corporates and policy makers which will help the sector and it’s companies to grow fast.

‘China has a strong advantage in clean technology and it is the largest country in the global  PV power generation capacity, and also is one of the biggest market of solar water heater.’ The world wide fund for nature (WWF) CEO Lo Sze Ping says, ‘This year we can see five exciting new technologies, which are examples of thousands of innovations being developed. We believe that they will be able to help the world take a step from fossil energy era towards a more sustainable future.’

“Climate change is far too urgent to focus innovation efforts to combat climate change on basic R&D.” commented Mr. Stefan Henningsson, Senior Advisor Climate Innovation at WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative, “Innovation efforts must focus on taking technologies from R&D to Demonstration, Commercialisation and Deployment on large and rapidly growing global markets. Chinese entrepreneurs can play a key role on these markets if they also have strong domestic support by local policy, corporate, equity & debt finance community.”

As a global project of World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), WWF Climate Solver carries out the programme of identifying and promoting innovative entrepreneurship as a response to climate change and energy poverty in the Nordic region, China, India, South Africa and globally through partnership with Sustainia 100.

More information on the five awarded Chineses innovations will appear on the site shortly together with more information from the event in Beijing. 

The Climate Solver programme is possible thanks to financial support from Swedish Postcode Lottery and Dustin.


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