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Situation of low carbon development in China's petrochemical industry

Situation of low carbon development in China's petrochemical industry

(Summary description)

Situation of low carbon development in China's petrochemical industry

(Summary description)


  (source chemical 707)
  Introduction: climate change is a deep-seated crisis facing the world. Coping with climate change has become a common challenge for all mankind. As countries gradually reach a consensus on climate issues and put forward emission reduction targets one after another, carbon neutralization has become the hottest topic, followed by not only the systematic reform of economy and society, but also a new round of global game. As the pillar and foundation of national economic development, petrochemical industry is facing what kind of situation of low-carbon development?
  1. Low carbon development is the inevitable choice
  1.1 the "double carbon" goal is a major strategic decision made by the Party Central Committee after careful consideration

  China has always attached great importance to addressing climate change and is an active promoter and firm practitioner of climate action. In September 2020, China proposed to strive to reach the carbon peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutralization by 2060. In December 2020, it was announced at the climate ambition summit that by 2030, the carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP will be reduced by more than 65% compared with 2005, the proportion of non fossil energy in primary energy consumption will reach about 25%, the forest volume will increase by 6 billion cubic meters compared with 2005, and the total installed capacity of wind and solar power will reach more than 1.2 billion kilowatts. Realizing carbon peak and carbon neutralization is the internal requirement for China to achieve sustainable development and high-quality development. It is a major strategic decision made by the Party Central Committee after careful consideration.
  In February 2021, the guiding opinions of the State Council on accelerating the establishment and improvement of a green low-carbon circular development economic system proposed that development should be based on the efficient use of resources, strict protection of the ecological environment and effective control of greenhouse gas emissions, comprehensively promote high-quality development and high-level protection, and ensure the realization of the goal of carbon peak and carbon neutrality.
  1.2 green and low-carbon development has become a global consensus, and many countries have clearly put forward emission reduction targets
  So far, more than 130 countries and regions around the world have announced the goal of net zero emission (or carbon neutral and climate neutral) in the form of legislation or policy declaration. The EU issued a new green deal at the end of 2019, promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and issued a road map of policies and measures in seven aspects: energy, industry, construction, transportation, food, ecology and environmental protection; The U.S. House of Representatives issued the action plan on climate crisis in June 2020, which proposed that coping with climate change should be the top priority of the country to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 88% and net zero CO2 emissions in 2050 compared with 2010.



  1.3 green barriers in developed countries force China's petrochemical industry to accelerate low-carbon transformation
  Due to their advantages in technological innovation and industrial process, the green barriers of developed countries against developing countries have never stopped. On March 10 this year, the European Parliament voted and passed the "carbon boundary adjustment mechanism" (CBAM) Bill, which plans to impose import tariffs on some products of countries with weak action to deal with climate change from 2023, and it is clear that the mechanism will cover the power industry and high energy consumption industries such as cement, steel, aluminum, oil refining, chemical industry and papermaking, It is also applicable to all products incorporated into the EU carbon trading system. The EU is one of China's important trading partners. The proposal covers a wide range of oil refining and chemical products and is an important part of China's international trade. Its implementation will have a far-reaching impact on China's petrochemical industry.
  Compared with developed countries, China's petrochemical industry still has room for decline in unit energy carbon emission intensity. After the implementation of CBAM, China's petrochemical products will have to pay additional carbon tariffs to enter the EU market by referring to the EU industry advanced technical standards, and will face the risk of increasing export costs and reducing price advantages. Studies have shown that if the carbon tax is levied at US $30 / ton, the export of petrochemical products will decline by 12.39%. Since May this year, the EU carbon price has exceeded US $60 / ton. The petrochemical industry is the foundation of the national economy. It intersects, correlates and interacts with many industries. The blocked export will not only aggravate the surplus of some petrochemical products, but also trigger a chain reaction in relevant industries.
  2. Economic development and transformation is imminent
  2.1 China is still a developing country and needs to make more efforts to balance development and carbon reduction

  China is still the largest developing country in the world, and its economic development is still closely related to carbon emissions. In the next 30 years, while realizing carbon neutralization, China should also maintain medium and high-speed economic development, which requires that China's economic development must be decoupled from carbon emissions and enter a new era of transformation and upgrading. The economic development of the world's developed economies has been decoupled from carbon emissions. Among them, the EU's carbon emissions peaked in 1990. Over the past 30 years, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have decreased by 20% compared with the peak, and the comprehensive GDP has increased by about 60%. The United States peaked in carbon emissions in 2007. In the past 13 years, GHG emissions have decreased by 10.8% compared with the peak, but the comprehensive GDP has increased by about 67%.
  2.2 accelerating the process of carbon market and driving the low-carbon transformation of petrochemical enterprises
  In order to more effectively promote carbon emission reduction, the state has accelerated the construction of a broader carbon trading market system, and brought more industries with high energy consumption, large emissions and relatively concentrated emission sources into the carbon trading market. The administrative measures for Carbon Emission Trading (Trial) was issued in 2021, and the power industry has entered the first performance period; In May, three documents, namely, the rules for the registration and management of carbon emission rights (for Trial Implementation), the rules for the management of carbon emission rights trading (for Trial Implementation) and the rules for the management of carbon emission rights settlement (for Trial Implementation), were issued to further standardize the national carbon emission rights registration, trading and settlement activities, and the online trading of the national carbon market was launched on July 16. It is expected that the petrochemical industry will be incorporated into the national carbon trading market from 2022 to 2023. At that time, petrochemical enterprises will face transformation and development, as well as hard constraints on carbon emissions, and the production and operation costs will further increase.
  3. Green concept promotes Petrochemical transformation and upgrading
  3.1 great changes are taking place in the energy consumption structure in the transportation field

  The concept of green development promotes the technological progress of new energy vehicles and rapidly increases the public's acceptance of electric vehicles. From 2014 to 2020, the sales volume of new energy vehicles increased from 75000 to 1367000, realizing leapfrog development. In 2020, the general office of the State Council issued the new energy vehicle industry development plan (2021-2035), which pointed out that by 2035, pure electric vehicles will become the mainstream of new sales vehicles, vehicles in the public domain will be fully electrified, and fuel cell vehicles will be commercialized. According to the prediction of 2050 world energy outlook (2020 Edition) of CNPC Economic Research Institute, the number of new energy vehicles in China will reach 80% in 2050.
  Globally, the sales of electric vehicles increased by nearly 70% annually from 2015 to 2020, and the sales of light passenger electric vehicles accounted for about 3.3% in 2020. In 2050 net zero emission: global energy roadmap, IEA proposed that under the global net zero emission scenario, the sales of electric vehicles in 2030 will be about 18 times that of now, reaching 57 million vehicles. Driven by the concept of green development, the energy consumption structure in the transportation field is undergoing great changes, and the petrochemical industry will also be transformed and upgraded.
  3.2 the rapid development of renewable energy industry lays a foundation for green energy consumption in the petrochemical industry
  By the end of 2020, the total installed capacity of renewable energy power generation in China had reached 930 million KW, accounting for 42.4% of the total installed capacity, an increase of 14.6 percentage points over 2012. Among them, hydropower 370 million KW, wind power 280 million KW, photovoltaic power 250 million KW and biomass power 29.52 million KW, ranking first in the world for 16, 11, 6 and 3 consecutive years respectively“ During the 13th Five Year Plan period, the average annual growth rate of non fossil energy power generation was 10.6%, and its proportion in China's total power generation increased from 27.2% in 2015 to 33.9% in 2020.



  China's whole industry chain integrated manufacturing has effectively promoted the continuous decline of the cost of wind power and photovoltaic power generation. In the past 10 years, the average cost per kilowatt of onshore wind power generation has decreased by about 30% and 75% respectively, and the industrial competitiveness has continued to improve. In recent years, the newly increased power consumption in China is mainly supplied by clean power such as photoelectric power and wind power. According to statistics, the grid connected wind power generation in 2020 will be 466.5 billion kWh and 261.1 billion kwh respectively, accounting for 9.7% of the new power consumption in the whole society.
  4. Technology brings green opportunities to petrochemical industry
  Technology will change people's lives and help people provide potential to cope with challenges such as climate change. There is huge room for the development of low-carbon, zero carbon and negative carbon technologies in the next 30 years.
  4.1 rapid technological iteration puts forward higher requirements for the transformation and R & D speed of the petrochemical industry
  In the digital and information age, the technology development speed of various industries is accelerated, and many new technologies and new fields can realize the next generation technology replacement even in a few years. Countries and enterprises at the forefront of emerging technologies may be the first to complete the development and application of new technologies, and followers may always be in a backward state of choosing the direction. Under the background of "double carbon" goal, the petrochemical industry should seize the opportunity to make rapid transformation in the window period. On the contrary, once we slow down the pace of transformation and maintain the continuous expansion of traditional technology, we will not only miss the opportunity of transformation to seize the market, but also lose the advantage of the same starting point.
  4.2 the integration and coordinated development of knowledge and technology among industries are promoting various possibilities
  The focus of the petrochemical industry has shifted from the increase of total scale and total production capacity to industrial structure upgrading, low-carbon development and scientific and technological innovation. The market demand for differentiated, functional, high-end and environment-friendly products, technologies and services has increased. In the era of rapid technological iteration and increasingly strict policies and regulations, the integration and coordinated development of knowledge and technology among industries is particularly important. Seemingly unrelated fields are increasingly integrated, and the integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology and material production will be strengthened to achieve rapid breakthroughs and user customized applications. These cross-border integration technology platforms can provide a basis for rapid innovation and promote various possibilities.
  4.3 low carbon development puts forward reform requirements for petrochemical technology and process design
  Low carbon development is not only a major transformation in the field of energy supply, but also a low-carbon transformation of all end-user energy technologies and equipment. All energy related technologies and equipment will have a new generation to adapt to the fundamental changes of low-carbon and zero carbon. Taking the lead in realizing low-carbon will mean comprehensive technology and market leadership. In the future, renewable power will become the most competitive primary and terminal energy, and many links of industrial processes will be replaced by electrification, such as various heating furnaces directly using fossil fuels. For the petrochemical industry, with the continuous progress of renewable energy technology in the power industry and the continuous decline of green power cost, electrification will be an important starting point for process energy consumption and carbon removal. The corresponding infrastructure, process technology and engineering equipment need to be adjusted and improved around new electrification.
  4.4 the petrochemical industry urgently needs advanced low-cost low-carbon, zero carbon and negative carbon technologies and equipment
  The petrochemical industry has a long industrial chain. All links of the industrial chain are faced with the goal and task of promoting carbon emission reduction and realizing low-carbon development through technological innovation, including the technologies used in the industry's own production process, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUs), hydrogen production technology, biomass chemicals technology, waste chemicals recycling technology and advanced energy-saving technology, It also includes technologies of external related industries, such as green power supply. At present, most of the low-carbon technologies independently developed in China are still in the demonstration or even conceptual stage, which still lags behind the international leading level in the industry. In 2020, among the 21 large-scale CCUs commercial operation projects in the world, the United States accounted for 43%, China was still relatively small, and hydrogen storage materials, wind / light and other renewable power related equipment still depended on imports. The importance of technological innovation will be fully reflected in this process. In short, China's petrochemical industry is facing the dual challenges of development and carbon reduction. On the one hand, China's "double carbon" goal is clear. National ministries and commissions actively promote the implementation of carbon peak and carbon neutralization actions in all walks of life. As an industry with high carbon emissions, it is urgent to achieve green and low-carbon development in the petrochemical industry. On the other hand, with economic development and changes in market demand, the demand for chemicals and new materials will continue to grow rapidly, promote the rapid growth of production capacity, and carbon emissions will increase accordingly. In order to realize the synergy and mutual promotion of carbon reduction and development of China's petrochemical industry, it is necessary to go through a complex process of policy, technology, market and social changes, in which the research and breakthrough of low-carbon, zero carbon and negative carbon technology is the fundamental. Future technological progress and technological innovation may bring disruptive changes. Only by effectively combining science and technology with industry can we realize the green and low-carbon development of petrochemical industry( Authors: Wang hongqiu, Xue Jing, song Qianqian, Mu Yanjun; Unit: China Petroleum and Petrochemical Research Institute)

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