Every public bus in China's Shenzhen is now powered by electricity

Polycount

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If you've felt the world hasn't done enough to push the electric revolution forward to combat climate change, China might be able to change your mind. One of the most populated cities in the country with roughly 11.9 million citizens, Shenzhen has recently announced the completion of their fully electric fleet of 16,359 public transportation buses.

Shenzhen has managed to hit the milestone ahead of schedule, with previous estimates suggesting work on the city's new bus fleet could extend well into 2018.

Shenzhen officials believe this change could save the city the "energy equivalent of 366,000 tons of standard coal" while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by an impressive 1.35 million tons.

Of course, simply swapping out gas-powered buses for electric-powered alternatives doesn't do the city much good on its own. In the interest of keeping their sizable fleet up and running, Shenzhen has also constructed about 8,000 individual bus charging points spread across 510 charging stations throughout the city.

According to one Fast Company report, over 80 percent of Shenzhen's new buses have been manufactured by a single company - BYD (Build Your Dreams). As the company has reportedly surpassed Tesla to become the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, it comes as no surprise that the city has chosen to take advantage of its services.

Shenzhen doesn't plan to leave well enough alone, though - its taxis are also due for an electric overhaul in the near future. As of writing, 62.5 percent (12,518) of all taxis in the city are electric but government officials plan to increase that number to 100 percent by 2020. This is certainly an ambitious plan but it's also one the city's head of public transport, Zheng Jingyu, seems confident in.

"We will gradually replace the existing fuel-powered cabs with electricity-powered ones and complete the target by 2020, or even ahead of schedule," Jingyu said in a statement.

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Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
 

Polycount

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IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
Fair point. It's possible that switching away from fossil fuels could be their next project, though - it would only make sense for a city that seems so intent on reducing carbon emissions.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,081   +2,638
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
Electricity production from coal started going down in China thanks to huge investments in renewable energy in the last few years. It should be around 65-70% at the moment in terms of total energy generated.
China is currently the world leader in solar power production.
 

OneSpeed

Posts: 407   +200
Unlike some 3 or 4 countries (Syria, USA, et al) on this planet, China and the rest of the world is committed to the Paris Accord and lower emissions. What you are seeing here is them progressing towards those targets.
 

drjekelmrhyde

Posts: 364   +127
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
Electricity production from coal started going down in China thanks to huge investments in renewable energy in the last few years. It should be around 65-70% at the moment in terms of total energy generated.
China is currently the world leader in solar power production.
Yeap. http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/18/technology/china-us-clean-energy-solar-farm/index.html
 

Reehahs

Posts: 973   +603
This is pretty amazing to see. Doing things fast at scale must be China's national superpower.
 

bexwhitt

Posts: 504   +205
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
the Chinese Electricity gets cleaner every year they ARE making a serious effort to green up their act. It's actually less than 66% (2016) now and will be less every year, they are really pushing wind power.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_China
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,204   +3,402
SIGH..more propaganda from Beijing which hasn't honored a single syllable of the Kyoto Accords, which were designed to further cripple western economies while putting only marginal constraints on the developing world. And people lap this hogwash up.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,081   +2,638
SIGH..more propaganda from Beijing which hasn't honored a single syllable of the Kyoto Accords, which were designed to further cripple western economies while putting only marginal constraints on the developing world. And people lap this hogwash up.
First off China was exempt from the Kyoto Accords and second the US left it in 2001. By 2012 it became clear that because of the state of the world economy and the price of renewable energy the Kyoto Accords were not working properly.
This is why the Paris Climate Accord was created based on more up to date data on how the countries that signed it would develop going forward and how technology will evolve over time (it is still something voluntary, much more realistic, albeit harsher in some areas).

China is actually reducing the overall coal usage for power and this has been confirmed by multiple sources.

You should read this: http://climateactiontracker.org/countries/china.html
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
Electricity production from coal started going down in China thanks to huge investments in renewable energy in the last few years. It should be around 65-70% at the moment in terms of total energy generated.
China is currently the world leader in solar power production.
That is correct. China has been reducing reliance on coal due to ecological concerns and due to slowdown in the world economy, thus reducing demand for energy intensive Chinese industries such as steel production.

But the vast majority of Chinese renewable energy is hydroelectric. Solar energy gets a lot of flashy press, but it's not realistic or cost effective as hydro or nuclear.

Just as the US has one of the largest wind+solar production in the world, China has one of the largest total solar power production in the world, but for both the US and China, they're actually pretty small in terms of percentage of total energy generated. (EU countries that take award).

Unlike some 3 or 4 countries (Syria, USA, et al) on this planet, China and the rest of the world is committed to the Paris Accord and lower emissions. What you are seeing here is them progressing towards those targets.
You mean the non-binding voluntary Paris Accord where China stated they would actually INCREASE their total carbon emissions pollution until 2037? The Paris Accord isn't going to do squat, and isn't going to change the numerous pollution cutting policies and green energy development in the US that has been going on for decades already.

For comparison, the US has been reducing its peak total carbon emissions for years now. But you hear nothing but crickets about that because folks don't make a big deal about non-flashy substantive policy.
 
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Bluescreendeath

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the Chinese Electricity gets cleaner every year they ARE making a serious effort to green up their act. It's actually less than 66% (2016) now and will be less every year, they are really pushing wind power.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_China
I actually read that wikipedia article and the article's first chart is inaccurate because it contradicts its own source it cited. Go to the article it claims as its citation. The wiki chart claims coal usage is 57% of energy generation in 2016, but the actual source it took its information from says "More than 65 percent of all electricity in 2016 was generated by coal-fired power plants, as figure 3 shows (Source: China Energy Portal)."

Here is the original cite: http://energypost.eu/chinas-renewable-energy-revolution-continues-long-march/

The wiki article chart also contains grossly inaccurate information such as saying China produces 943 GW in coal energy, 77 GW in solar, etc in 2016 when it actually produces 3906000 GWH of coal energy and 66000 GWH of solar energy.

So over 65% is from coal alone, and add in other fossil fuel and carbon producing energy methods (biofuels, oil and natural gas, etc)...
 
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TempleOrion

Posts: 53   +36
SIGH..more propaganda from Beijing which hasn't honored a single syllable of the Kyoto Accords, which were designed to further cripple western economies while putting only marginal constraints on the developing world. And people lap this hogwash up.
Yeah 'cos "crippling western economies" is in the best interests of a massive exporter like China *sigh*. Another paranoid conspiracy theory to go alongside the Climate Change 'hoax' LOL...

And yes, 'developed' economies *should* bear the brunt of emissions targets; why would you think otherwise?
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,081   +2,638
I actually read that wikipedia article and the article's first chart is inaccurate because it contradicts its own source it cited. Go to the article it claims as its citation. The wiki chart claims coal usage is 57% of energy generation in 2016, but the actual source it took its information from says "More than 65 percent of all electricity in 2016 was generated by coal-fired power plants, as figure 3 shows (Source: China Energy Portal)."

Here is the original cite: http://energypost.eu/chinas-renewable-energy-revolution-continues-long-march/

The wiki article chart also contains grossly inaccurate information such as saying China produces 943 GW in coal energy, 77 GW in solar, etc in 2016 when it actually produces 3906000 GWH of coal energy and 66000 GWH of solar energy.

So over 65% is from coal alone, and add in other fossil fuel and carbon producing energy methods (biofuels, oil and natural gas, etc)...
You are misreading some of those statistics and you are also confusing the generating capacity (GW) and the production (TWh).
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,996   +2,462
Good to hear. Predictable routes with lots of stop and go and low speeds, like taxis, buses, ece are the perfect target for electrification, and pollution is a much larger problem in cities (smog) then in the country. Not having to smell the diesel fumes every time the bus moves is also a major plus.

hopefully other cities and countries follow suit, and that the manufacture and R+D makes full electric pickup trucks and cars viable for day to day usage at prices lower then current vehicles.

And for everyone commenting that "china burns coal", capturing the pollution and CO2 from a single or handful of coal plants is a lot easier then capturing the pollutants from 10s of thousands of vehicles, and a lot cheaper to boot. Electric cars powered by coal plants are still better for the environment then gas cars.
 
And China 'might' just want to save its oil surplus and "secretly" sell it to North Korea's "King Pen" Kim Jong-un to help out a "friend in Need"??????
 

Evernessince

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hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,026   +1,196
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
Coal still makes up the largest part of China's energy consumption, but Beijing has been shutting coal mines and set out plans last year to cut roughly 1.3 million jobs in the industry. The Chinese government has also moved to restrict the construction of new coal power plants.

For the first time ever, China's National Energy Administration in January established a mandatory target to reduce coal energy consumption. It also set a goal for clean energy to meet 20% of China's energy needs by 2030.

You were saying?
 
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Bluescreendeath

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Coal still makes up the largest part of China's energy consumption, but Beijing has been shutting coal mines and set out plans last year to cut roughly 1.3 million jobs in the industry. The Chinese government has also moved to restrict the construction of new coal power plants.

For the first time ever, China's National Energy Administration in January established a mandatory target to reduce coal energy consumption. It also set a goal for clean energy to meet 20% of China's energy needs by 2030.
You were saying?
You do realize my point is still valid right? The vast majority of energy in China is and will continue to be generated by coal, fossil fuels, and carbon generating chemical energy. Look up their Paris Treaty obligation where they said they'll continue increasing yearly carbon emissions until well into the 2030s-40. They should focus on getting more of their energy grid off dirty energy before putting more strain on their energy grid with electric cars. Right now, the US has a far larger percentage of its energy grid running on cleaner energy than China despite not even getting half as much as credit from folks like you.
 
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yeeeeman

Posts: 332   +279
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
The main idea is to reduce carbon INSIDE THE CITY, because that is what you breathe. Fossil fuels are easier to replace than the whole lot of cars/buses/trucks in a city, so they did good that they started with that.
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
The main idea is to reduce carbon INSIDE THE CITY, because that is what you breathe. Fossil fuels are easier to replace than the whole lot of cars/buses/trucks in a city, so they did good that they started with that.
First, you do realize that many of this coal, oil, etc power plants are often located just right outside of these cities? Second, cities don't live in some magic bubble where the outside air is somehow separate from air inside city limits.
The city of Beijing had to shut down its large coal power plants OUTSIDE of the city powering the city for the Olympics and for recent pollution efforts to improve air quality inside the city.

What you have here is getting rid of petroleum use inside the city and replacing it with mostly coal and other fossil fuels use adjacent to the city.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,416   +3,487
IIRC, 80% of Chinas electricty is generated by fossil fuels (mainly coal). It'd make more sense that they focus more on using cleaner energy sources to power their electrical grid before they switch to electrical buses that runs off this grid.
It may not seem obvious that it is actually cleaner to run these buses off of electricity than it is to run them off of fossil fuels. There are all kinds of wastes in producing and consuming fossil fuel that most people do not realize exist because they are so prevalent in society. Most people simply do not stop to think that there are significant wastes in producing and consuming fossil fuels because in the context of present-day use of fossil fuels, they are unseen. From refining, to transportation to fueling stations, to burning them in vehicles - most people are only aware of the last part. IIRC, even if the coal plant is only 40% efficient, it is still cleaner than burning gas/diesel. And with all the propaganda about how clean Natural Gas is, the impression is that it is pollution free. Yes, NG is cleaner than coal, but it still emits CO2 and other nasty stuff.

I may not be politically correct in stating this, but the Chinese are rather intelligent these days. My bet is that they have thought this through and there is good reason to do so. From the article:
Shenzhen officials believe this change could save the city the "energy equivalent of 366,000 tons of standard coal" while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by an impressive 1.35 million tons.
I am sure they realize that coal plants emit carbon dioxide, yet they still expect that this will reduce overall CO2 emissions. The fact that they believe that it is cleaner is why they are going this route. Time will tell, but from the best of my knowledge, they will very likely meet their emissions reduction targets.

The one other thing that is not obvious is that whatever plants they use to power these buses will likely not see an increase in their emissions. Why? Simply because most big power plants have to operate near capacity. You can't simply ramp up a huge plant when the demand for electricity increases. As such, the plants that will power these buses have to "dump" electricity when the demand is low which is a total waste.

I've quoted it before in other posts of mine that the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory did a study about 10-or so years ago and said that in the US, there was at that time enough excess electrical generation capacity to power some 76-percent of all cars and light trucks on the road. The implication being that in doing so, you remove all the pollution that those vehicles generate from consuming fossil fuels while not adding one bit of further pollution by generating the electricity to power them.

Yes, electricity is that much cleaner even when generated from an inefficient coal plant!
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
It may not seem obvious that it is actually cleaner to run these buses off of electricity than it is to run them off of fossil fuels. There are all kinds of wastes in producing and consuming fossil fuel that most people do not realize exist because they are so prevalent in society. Most people simply do not stop to think that there are significant wastes in producing and consuming fossil fuels because in the context of present-day use of fossil fuels, they are unseen. From refining, to transportation to fueling stations, to burning them in vehicles - most people are only aware of the last part. IIRC, even if the coal plant is only 40% efficient, it is still cleaner than burning gas/diesel. And with all the propaganda about how clean Natural Gas is, the impression is that it is pollution free. Yes, NG is cleaner than coal, but it still emits CO2 and other nasty stuff.
I would have to see a study or calculation that compares the efficiency of burning coal in the average Chinese coal plant to power the average Chinese power grid to power electric cards vs burning gasoline in the average Chinese car. Yes, fueling, transportation, etc is wasteful, but that doesn't necessarily mean all of that combined makes a gas car less efficiency than an coal-powered electric car. Burning gas turns chemical energy into heat and compressed gas which powers the piston and the piston's kinetic energy moves the car. Coal goes through that same step of burning coal to turn into heat/compressed gas, using that heat to boil water to turn into steam use as kinetic energy to turn a turbine, the turbine's kinetic energy is converted into electricity, run through a power grid, then used to charge an electric car, then convert the electricity back into kinetic energy and heat energy for the car. Heating in a gas car comes from residual heat of the engine that comes from the burning of petroleum...electric cars has to go convert electricity back into heat.

Natural gas may not be carbon neutral, but it is still significantly cleaner than any other hydrocarbon out there. It's main byproducts are CO2 and water vapor. Coal is the dirtiest (especially low quality coal like lignite/brown coal), and releases carbon, many forms of ash, sulfur (from older tech coal plants without advanced scrubbers), and radioactive substances into the atmosphere.

I may not be politically correct in stating this, but the Chinese are rather intelligent these days. My bet is that they have thought this through and there is good reason to do so. From the article:
You may have it backwards. It is very politically correct to compliment the Chinese these days. Everybody from Tech news articles like these to Reddit are constantly popping up with articles about the Chinese producing solar panels or installing more solar energy. It's probably more politically incorrect to talk about any of the contributions the United States has done for green & renewable energy given how Trump has a bad reputation in this regard.

I am sure they realize that coal plants emit carbon dioxide, yet they still expect that this will reduce overall CO2 emissions. The fact that they believe that it is cleaner is why they are going this route. Time will tell, but from the best of my knowledge, they will very likely meet their emissions reduction targets.
Only time will tell. The Chinese have met some of their targets but missed others.

The one other thing that is not obvious is that whatever plants they use to power these buses will likely not see an increase in their emissions. Why? Simply because most big power plants have to operate near capacity. You can't simply ramp up a huge plant when the demand for electricity increases. As such, the plants that will power these buses have to "dump" electricity when the demand is low which is a total waste....
Yes, electricity is that much cleaner even when generated from an inefficient coal plant!
The easier and more eco-friendly solution is to turn down power generation to match demand. Coal plants are often base load plants while others like gas plants and new fossil fuel plants can be run as a peak load plant. However, if they truly have so much excess then yes, you'd be correct in that this excess wasted electricity can be put to good use (if China's situation in that city is similar to the American city from years ago in the study you mentioned).

That is assuming the additional electric demand from the electric vehicles won't required them to add additional coal plants or increase coal plant capacity to increase power to the grid.
 

wiyosaya

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Jeff Re

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FYI a city of 11.9 million people actually ranks pretty low compared to other Chinese cities. There are A LOT of cities in China that are around 10 million people. Shenzhen is, however, part of the largest metropolitan area, I believe, though it still only accounts for a quarter of that size.