Scientists at the eastern Lappeenranta University have calculated that China would become even more profitable if it were to make the switch to renewable energy within the next five to ten years. As the largest energy consumer in the world, China’s energy production remains a cornerstone of all global climate initiatives.
A renewable energy research project conducted jointly by the state-owned VTT Technical Research Centre, the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Turku’s Finland Futures Research Centre has successfully modelled comprehensive energy systems based entirely on renewable energy sources for China, Korea and Japan. The project was recently presented with an award for its pioneering work at a solar energy conference in Japan. Tekes, the publicly-funded Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, has financed the joint project to the tune of five million euros.
“China possesses significant wind and solar energy resources, so a power network based on renewable energy sources has the potential to become profitable very quickly. That’s why they should move to a system like this. China is already the world’s largest investor in solar and wind energy at present,” says lead researcher Pasi Vainikka from VTT.
The Finnish researchers are confident that renewable energy sources like solar and wind power will become the cheapest form of energy production in Asia within the next ten years. What is more, energy produced in this way provides the added benefits of being inexpensive, emission-free and promoting self-sufficiency. Professor of solar energy Christian Breyer from the Lappeenranta University says the project’s large-scale simulation of functioning renewable energy networks is the first of its kind.
“A network fully based on renewable energy is possible in Northeast Asia. Renewable energy is also the cheapest form of energy production available to them there. All of the other options are more expensive. It is a new insight,” says Breyer.