Carbon permits on the Shenzhen Emissions Exchange, the first of seven trial carbon markets being launched in China, have risen to a price exceeding those in Europe According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Shenzhen carbon allowances for 2013 increased to US$7 a tonne, up from US$5 a tonne on June 18, the first day of trading.
China is expected to have seven pilot pricing systems in place no later than 2015, followed by a national scheme, according to a new survey from Australian National University.
The survey – a joint initiative between the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific’s Crawford School and Beijing-based NGO China Carbon Forum – collected the opinions of 86 China-based carbon pricing experts.
The survey found strong confidence that China will introduce carbon-pricing mechanisms in coming years, that the price of emitting carbon will rise over time, and that China will have both a national emissions trading and a carbon tax by the end of the decade.
The survey also indicates an expected combined Chinese price for emissions trading and carbon tax of RMB 70 ($12) per ton in 2020, rising sharply thereafter.
The large majority of experts surveyed were also confident that China will achieve or surpass its 2020 emissions intensity target, and almost all expect that new targets will be set for 2020 and 2025.
"As public expectation of good air quality grows with the demand for electricity, the prediction that nuclear power will account for about 5 percent of China's total energy consumption by 2020 seems far from sufficient," Zhao Yongkang, deputy director of the Nuclear Safety Management Department at the Environmental Protection Ministry, said.
By 2017, the installed capacity of the nation's nuclear power plants will be increased to 50 million kW, enabling the proportion of non-fossil energy to meet the target of 13 percent, up from the 2010 level of 8.6 percent.
Insiders say nuclear power may be the only solution to meeting the 13 percent target, with both wind and solar power facing obstacles such as difficulties in storing the power and transmitting it to other regions.