Expert proposes phasing out fossil fuels gradually

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The China News Service and Energy Foundation China held the Energy China forum on May 12. Du Xiangwan, academician and former vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, delivered a keynote speech.

In his remarks, Du articulated a two-step strategy for China’s clean energy transition. First, China must build up capacities for clean power generation. Second, it must phase out fossil fuels.

To build clean power capacities, Du proposed two approaches. His first proposal was to continue relying on coal for most nationwide energy needs but require carbon capture and storage to reduce emissions, thereby making coal power cleaner and more efficient.

His second suggestion was to make coal power more flexible so it can complement renewable energy’s intermittency, while promoting cooperation between coal power and new energy sources through supportive policies.

Du suggested that China should not abruptly eliminate fossil fuels but rather gradually reduce non-renewable power generation. Clean energy and fossil fuels should co-exist and play complementary roles to ensure China’s energy security and carbon goals.

According to Du, a gradual energy transition balancing clean power growth and a phase out of fossil fuels will safeguard China’s dual priorities of environmental sustainability and economic stability. With robust strategies to build capacities, transform existing systems, and promote collaboration, China can achieve a clean energy future anchored in energy security.