Academics meet to discuss carbon emissions in rural areas

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The 1st Interdisciplinary Academic Exchange Conference of the Research Center for Zero-carbon Buildings was held at Tsinghua University on March 11. Dozens of experts and academics delivered speeches on promoting carbon emission reduction in rural areas.

Professor Zhang Hong from the School of Architecture introduced the Rural Revitalization Center, a philanthropic action initiated in October 2017, originally designed to promote the low carbon renovation and reuse of idle and abandoned houses in rural areas.

With 25 rural workstations and 70 student internship sites being established in 15 provinces, the action has developed into a comprehensive national network integrating academic research, industry incubation, community services, student internships, etc., providing a platform to mobilize university resources to support rural green development.

Professor Yang Xudong, vice dean of the same school, said that the current energy consumption of rural buildings accounts for about a quarter of the total in the country, mainly in the form of direct combustion of bulk coal and biomass, which emits a large amount of greenhouse gases and atmosphere pollutants.

He predicted that if the construction of a low-carbon and clean energy system can be advanced smoothly, then it would be expected that China’s rural areas would achieve self-sufficiency in electricity consumption by 2027, eliminate the use of coal by 2030, and produce 1.5 trillion kWh of electricity for urban areas annually by 2060, which is equivalent to providing energy consumption of 500 million tons of standard coal, and synergistically increasing the carbon emission reduction potential by about 1.5 billion tons.

Professor Jiang Yi from China Engineering Academy, specifically pointed out the huge potential of solar power generation using rural roofs, which might be as much as 2.95 trillion kWh each year, the equivalent of nearly 40 percent of China’s total power generation in 2020 (7.5 trillion kWh).

Professors Liu Jian, Zheng Xiaodi, Song Yehao, and Researcher Shan Ming, also made reports on infrastructure planning in rural areas, brownfield theory, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) power, and biomass energy technology.

Article photo provided by the Rural Revitalization Center at Tsinghua University.