Electrical demand is growing so rapidly in China that even if the industry manages to meet the ambitious 2020 target, nuclear stations will still generate only 9.7 percent of the country’s power, by the government’s projections.That's right folks. Even with all the hoopla surrounding Copenhagen and all the dire warnings about global warming and the need to engage in reductions in emissions, China's output is set to dwarf the emissions to date.
Bringing so much nuclear power online over the next decade would reduce the country’s energy-related emissions of global warming gases by about 5 percent, compared with the emissions that would be produced by burning coal to generate the power.
“For anyone concerned about carbon dioxide emissions, it’s heartening, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle,” said Jonathan Sinton, a China specialist at the International Energy Agency in Paris.
China, which by most estimates overtook the United States in 2006 to become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is seeking sharp improvements in the energy efficiency of its economy.
But the economy is growing so fast that even if the country can meet its goals, total emissions will rise 72 to 88 percent by 2020, Mr. Sinton said.
And China isn't forsaking coal powered plants either. It needs to build a whole lot of those as well, in addition to the nuclear power facilities to generate the power it needs.