How big is the impact of high temperature-induced energy crisis on global “carbon neutrality”?

  in the scorching summer, the world, scorched by high temperatures, is facing a new round of “energy crisis”.
  On the one hand, affected by factors such as climate change, Asia, Europe, and North America have experienced large-scale high temperature weather. On the other hand, under the influence of the international environment such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the already tense energy supply has been fueled by the high temperature weather, and the power generation of renewable energy has dropped sharply, which has brought more complex and severe challenges. Many European countries even plan to restart coal power plants, which casts a shadow of uncertainty on the current fiery “carbon neutrality” goal.
  In the high temperature environment, the most affected is the power resources. Represented by Europe, many countries are faced with the contradiction between electricity supply and demand, and how to save electricity and reserve energy reasonably has become a major problem.
  Taking the UK as an example, due to climate factors, many households did not install air conditioners in the past, but under this year’s heat wave, the demand for air conditioners and other cooling systems in the UK has soared, which also means that more power resources need to be used for cooling, which is bound to affect. Winter energy reserves.
  German energy giant Uniper has started using its winter gas reserves after Russia halted gas supplies to Germany. In order to limit energy consumption, even in the face of high temperatures, Germany still uses measures such as power rationing, water restrictions, and closing swimming pools to do everything possible. Helmut Deddy, president of the German Association of Towns and Cities, even more bluntly stated that “saving electricity in summer will give you a warm apartment in winter”.
  Italy is located in southern Europe and has a hotter climate. 15% of electricity demand comes from hydropower. With the high temperature, the continuous lack of rain has severely shrunk Italian rivers. In order to ensure the power supply first, more than 170 cities and towns in the north have implemented or are preparing to implement water use. A quota system that prohibits residents from using water for non-essential and medical purposes.
  France, another large economy, compared with other European countries, although 70% of electricity depends on nuclear energy, but under the influence of high temperature and drought this year, the sharp drop in river water level has a serious impact on the cooling of nuclear power plants. Albon nuclear power plant output and shut down more than 10 reactors.
  The surge in electricity consumption in summer is not news, but it is rare that many countries around the world have experienced “electricity shortages” this year, represented by Europe. Especially at the moment when carbon neutrality and energy transition are advocated, this has aroused widespread concern and discussion in the international community.
  The most direct cause of the “electricity shortage” is probably the meteorological factor: Since March this year, extreme high temperature weather has appeared in the northern hemisphere one after another, and the high temperature has intensified since summer. In some areas of Spain and France, the temperature is actually higher than the same period of previous years. Temperatures are more than 10°C higher, start earlier and last longer.
  From a long-term perspective, green, low-carbon and sustainable development has become an international consensus. One of the best paths is to put energy rights in the hands of the Chinese, and to deploy and vigorously develop green power technology.
  North America, Europe and other places in the northern hemisphere are also the most densely populated and economically developed regions in the world. Under the influence of continuous high temperature weather, people’s electricity consumption has increased sharply, and the demand for electricity supply and demand has also increased.
  The second is that the energy is really “not enough”. The global “power shortage” is largely caused by the shortage of power generation energy supply and the contradiction between supply and demand. As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the multiple rounds of sanctions imposed on Russia by Europe, the United States, etc. have also counteracted itself. Global energy prices have risen, and the pressure on energy imports from many countries has doubled, directly leading to widespread power shortages.
  Lv Haomin, a researcher at the Bank of China Research Institute, analyzed from the perspective of energy structure that natural gas, hydropower and nuclear energy in Europe are the “troika” of electricity sources. Among them, hydropower accounts for about 16% of Europe’s electricity supply. In hot weather, the reduction of precipitation leads to lower river water levels, and the capacity of hydro and nuclear power generation is limited, resulting in limited power supply and a sharp rise in prices.
  In fact, the summer energy shortage may only be a “prelude”, because Europe’s winter demand for electricity and energy is greater, and the consumption of natural gas is several times higher than that in summer. If Europe cannot ease the contradiction between energy supply and demand in a timely manner, the energy crisis may intensify, and even push up inflation, affect industrial production, and cause a more serious social crisis.
  In order to solve the current energy dilemma, European countries have tried their best to restart coal power generation. Germany, Italy, Austria and other countries have all said that they will increase coal-fired power generation or restart closed coal power plants.
  In fact, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, many European countries have been pioneers in energy conservation and emission reduction in the past, and have long publicly committed to phasing out coal energy. In December 2019, the European Commission proposed the “European Green Deal”, which aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Before that, no new coal and petrochemical projects will be added, and specific emission reduction quotas have been set in various industries such as construction, agriculture and transportation.
  As a result, in less than two years, Europe has returned to coal since “slap in the face”, which is not only very different from the previous emission reduction commitments, but also casts a shadow on the road to global carbon neutrality and carbon emission reduction. Does this mean that carbon emissions The road to emission reduction has reached a dead end?
  ”I don’t think Europe will give up carbon emission reduction, because they have no other choice.” Wu Lin, a senior engineer at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that although Europe is currently plagued by energy problems, from a long-term perspective, reducing carbon emissions Alignment lines will continue to be advanced, even more stringent, and the policy of climate diplomacy will continue.
  He explained that the frequent occurrence of extreme high temperature weather around the world is essentially the result of excessive human emissions. The extreme high temperature leads to a surge in electricity consumption, which in turn promotes an increase in emissions, eventually forming an infinite loop. Make the living environment worse and worse.
  Therefore, Europe, which has the most developed economy, first proposed the goals of “climate neutrality” and “zero petrochemical”. Of course, this is also a measure to compete for the right to speak in the field of emissions. However, uncertain international factors such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine have affected the implementation of the policy. In addition, other countries such as China’s new energy vehicles and photovoltaic industries are developing rapidly, forming a competitive relationship with Europe. “Europe is forced to use the method of restarting coal emissions to narrow the gap. Staying ahead does not mean that Europe has since abandoned its path to carbon neutrality, and unless there is a major diplomatic twist, the odds are low.”
  As the world’s largest energy consumer, China’s green industries such as new energy, photovoltaics, and wind power have developed rapidly in recent years, and have made considerable achievements in carbon reduction. However, the European energy crisis also warns us that there is still a long way to go for energy transformation, and there are many uncertainties in dealing with climate change and low-carbon emission reduction.
  Wu Lin believes that in the past, many domestic publics thought that climate change was just talk on paper, and the “secondary disasters” brought about by climate change were even more unreal. Now, taking Europe as a sample, an energy chaos caused by climate change. Bureau and even social chaos is real enough.
  ”This shows that climate change has already affected our lives in advance. The current experience of Europe may play a more ‘warning and education’ role for the public than slogan propaganda, and can also better promote domestic low-carbon transformation and development.” He said .
  Chen Caocao, a researcher at the Beijing Municipal Center for Climate Change Management, said that in the process of low-carbon transition and energy reform, my country is faced with a lot of carbon emissions, energy consumption is dominated by fossil energy, and the buffer time from carbon peak to carbon neutrality is short. challenge.
  ”But China also has many favorable conditions. For example, it has built the world’s largest power supply system, and the technical equipment of water, nuclear, wind, and light has entered the forefront of the world, and it has formed a monopoly advantage. It has a number of major technical equipment and engineering technologies. Internationally leading.” Chen Caocao said that in view of China’s national conditions, it is the best solution to develop a carbon neutrality implementation route that is in line with China’s resource endowment and national conditions instead of copying foreign carbon neutrality models.
  From the perspective of long-term goals, green, low-carbon and sustainable development have become an international consensus. The European energy crisis has given more inspiration to the sustainable development of new energy in China. The power of energy is in the hands of the Chinese, and green power technology is deployed and vigorously developed. is one of the best paths.
  In the opinion of Dr. Zhang Yanhu, Vice President of Sunshine New Energy, the core of sustainable development of the new energy industry still depends on technological innovation, especially the key technology of “stuck neck”. China’s photovoltaic and wind power industries have formed global leading advantages in terms of technological innovation and industrial support. It is necessary to continue to expand their competitive advantages in these areas and accelerate the pace of “going out”.

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