Global Tech Companies See Opportunities Under China’s Carbon Targets
An ABB robotic arm is on display at the 2021 Global Artificial Intelligence Conference on July 7, 2021. Photo: VCG
The World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) is a platform for global tech giants to showcase their latest artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge technologies, but at the event of As the year ended on Saturday, a new theme emerges among foreign companies: the potential opportunities under China’s bold targets to reduce carbon emissions.
At the three-day conference, a number of exhibitors showcased their latest robotics and AI technologies that they believe could help China meet its target of peaking carbon emissions. by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Behind their renewed focus lies a huge market for everything from robots to AI technologies. According to a report by the Investment Association of China and the Rocky Mountain Institute, China’s decarbonization will create a 15 trillion yuan ($ 2.3 trillion) market by 2050, especially in resource recycling, energy efficiency, demand side electrification, zero carbon power generation, energy storage, hydrogen and digitization.
At WAIC 2021 in Shanghai, Schneider Electric, a global provider of digital energy and automation solutions, showcased its Advanced Process Control (APC) system designed to reduce operating power consumption and energy intensity. workforce.
When applied to a cement production line with an annual cement clinker output of 3.2 million tons, the system could help reduce the standard coal consumption by 2.44 kilograms, or 1.87% , the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 8,400 tons and the annual energy cost of 3.2 million yuan, according to the company.
As the digital transformation deepens, AI, Internet of Things, cloud computing and other emerging technologies will undoubtedly become the first choice to achieve green and sustainable development in the approach of carbon neutrality, Xiong Yi, senior vice president for strategy and business development at Schneider China, said in a speech during the WAIC.
Over the past three years, the overall energy consumption of Schneider’s Chinese factories has decreased by 12.4%, while production efficiency has increased by 5%, according to Schneider.
Industrial robot supplier and manufacturer ABB Robotics is also among foreign companies harnessing the power of robotics and AI to unlock sustainable growth in new sectors of the Chinese economy.
ABB presented an innovative painting solution called PixelPaint at WAIC. Launched last year, it guarantees that 100 percent of the paint will be applied to the body surface without spraying while traditionally 30 percent of the paint is wasted.
The technology has already been applied in a manufacturing plant of Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng, which is capable of increasing the paint rate by around 10% and reducing energy consumption by 25%.
“Today, China has become a global engine of robotics and automation. Promoting new models of economic development and new infrastructure in China has allowed us to explore new opportunities in many sectors, such as new energy vehicles, 5G, consumer electronics and logistics. “Sami Atiya, president of ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation, said in a statement to the Global Times.
As more and more robots are used in the economy, recycling and optimal use of old models has also become an issue facing businesses. A refurbishment service at ABB is able to enable existing robot users to sell inactive robots to ABB with an attractive buyback service, rather than scrapping them or leaving them unused.
Over the past 25 years, thousands of robots have been refurbished and upgraded by ABB’s remanufactured robot teams to give them a second life, according to Atiya.
According to statistics published by Boston Consulting, the application of AI is expected to reduce at least 2.6 to 5.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and create more than 1.3 trillion dollars of value to business.
Over the next 10 years, China would see two trillion yuan of capital in the investment market through AI-powered carbon neutralization, said Peng Hu, executive director general of China’s research department. International Capital Corp (CICC), at an investment and financing forum. at WAIC.
China’s carbon reduction plan is of great interest to foreign companies because it could help unlock a massive market with huge profit potential, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Research Center, told the Global Times on Sunday. in Energy Economics from Xiamen University.
“China welcomes the participation of global companies to engage in the goal of carbon neutrality. As long as they want to be part of the market, it could generate significant profits for the company,” Lin said.
He also pointed out that most of the players in the Chinese carbon market will still be domestic companies, but some foreign companies with technological prowess could stand out, noting that the improvement in the efficiency of energy supply fueled by the AI will become the next axis of industry transformation.
Improving renewable electricity generation is expected to reduce more than 60 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per year in the future, according to CICC.