In China and India rapid growth in electricity demand mirrored rapid economic growth, while the most readily available source of indigenous fuel was coal. In the EU and U.S., slower demand growth and a gradual move away from coal to nuclear, gas, and renewable sources kept emissions from growing and led to recent declines. In all four countries, despite strong growth in renewable energy, its impact on carbon intensity was only beginning to be felt.


These graphs show the changes in emissions, emissions drivers, and policy in the Power sector in China


Emissions Greenhouse gas emissions and generation

Electricity generation and the associated CO₂ emissions increased significantly in the past three decades, with generation growth accelerating significantly in the tenth Five Year Plan (2001-2005). Since 2006, the growth in power demand has slowed slightly with CO₂ emissions following suit.


    Emissions Drivers Fuel sources for power generation

    The vast majority of increased generation came from conventional sources, primarily coal. However, the past decade saw exponential growth in low-carbon fuel sources, such as renewable energy, although this energy represented a very small portion of overall electricity production.


      Policy Total installed capacity targets

      Policy encouraged increased renewable energy deployment through a mix of generation targets.