China is becoming greener, but in some areas still heavily polluted. Currently China is mostly using fossil fuels to cover required energy. It is not only air pollution by burning coal, but also low quality of water and soil, which is unsafe and dangerous for people. Additionally, car emissions and waste are part of this drama. Since years, Chinese government has declared war on pollution, promoting environmental protection, energy efficiency, low carbon growth and waste management.
As I am not an expert in green buildings, recycling, soil pollution, mining and wastewater treatment, I only focus on solutions of HSE and maintenance in industry, chemical gas cleaning opportunities, renewable energy, energy storage, and certainly in green transportation due to my automotive and e-motion background. Following some collected market initiative ideas:
- air needs emission reduction and more stringent standards, controlled by government. Air pollution control in industry need to be done more, as I was told for example most of installed exhaust gas cleaning scrubbers on top of factories or in marine vessels are not working efficiently as it could be technically possible.
- Upgrades and Retrofitting of machines and equipment as an opportunity in waste management, especially in the industrial sector.
- Energy storage solutions like Integrated E-mobility and energy management, Ceramic balls for head sorption, bipolar plates, improved Li-Ion cell technology, as seen at energy storage 2019 trade fair at Fraunhofer booth.
- Battery energy storage, can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. These chemistries, including lithium-sulphur and an organic “flow” battery, would need new manufacturing processes that would essentially start the industry over and eliminate Asia’s lead of Li-Ion cells today. EVs will change our driving, jobs and habits.
- Renewable energy storage solutions from generation to consumer end use have shown progress in recent years, e.g.
- highly efficient lithium-ion rechargeable battery platform Tesla Powerwall/Powerpack,
- redox flow batteries (fuel cell), which replace solid electrodes with energy-dense electrolytic compounds,
- flywheel energy storage functions by accelerating a rotor to high speed and maintaining the power as rotating energy,
- compressed air energy storage plants use pumped compressed air to store under pressure in underground caverns,
- thermal energy storage, often used sensible storage paired with solar power plants, using liquid or solid medium like water, sand, rocks or molten salt, are either heated or cooled to store collected energy,
- pumped hydroelectric storage stores energy using water contained in an upper reservoir that is electrically pumped from a lower reservoir.
- The sun overshoots the energy demand by the factor 8000 and the energy of wind overshoots the demand by the factor 700. Therefore, each European country is able to produce enough energy from wind and sun to satisfy its own demand. Therefore all anticipating European countries become equal partners of an energy network. Chinese provinces need energy networking as well. Production reserve is necessary to balance transmission and storage losses and to bridge years with little wind or high electricity demand. The more production reserve there is, the less storage is necessary and the faster those storage devices will be charged again. A secure power supply, only using 100% of wind, solar and storage power plants is therefore a real option to avoid using fossil fuels. A new type of “Ringwallspeicher”-hybrid power plants with artificial landscape, patent approved in 2018, and a new type of “Stülpmembranspeicher”, patent applied in 2013, enables maximum storage capacities (see attached concept draft, taken from www.poppware.de/Stuelpme).
In summary, there are a lot of business opportunities for German companies. The strategic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government to expand trade routes between China and the rest of the world, by spending huge money on infrastructure projects. In order to participate in the planned investments and gain better access to increasingly globalized markets, German companies still have great opportunities as subcontractors, as suppliers or as cooperation partners of Chinese companies, even not all sectors are accessible to foreign enterprises, like rural and agricultural sectors, and although practice shows that access to information and tenders for foreign companies is difficult. Only combined forces with supporting each other will win! It is better to enclose with reliable competitors than untrustworthy friends. Think about it, how to proceed in China.