Improve quality and efficiency, “digital energy” and “dual carbon” goals go hand in hand

Recently, with the gradual implementation of relevant supporting policies and measures, digital production, digital operation and digital life are becoming the new normal in our society. According to statistics, the scale of China’s digital economy in 2020 will reach 39.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 38.6% of GDP, and the growth rate is more than three times that of GDP. As the main economic form following the agricultural economy and the industrial economy, the specific application of new production methods with data as the core production factor and digital technology as the driving force in the energy field will help achieve carbon peaks and carbon neutrality goals. .

To achieve deep emission reduction, low-carbon transformation of the energy industry is the key

At present, my country is in a critical period of energy low-carbon transition, and many structural contradictions such as coal biased energy, heavy structure and low efficiency are still prominent. Compared with developed countries, China’s goal of achieving carbon peaks, carbon neutrality, and long-term goals is shorter, larger, more difficult, and extremely arduous. It needs to achieve a systematic low-carbon economy, energy system, and technological system. Green change. In fact, in the process of advancing digital industrialization and industrial digitization, new-generation information technologies such as big data, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and 5G industries will accelerate the in-depth integration of traditional energy industries and digital industries to create internationally competitive digital energy. Industrial clusters, optimizing energy production and consumption, energy supply and demand on both sides, will be able to directly or indirectly reduce carbon emissions from energy activities.

Energy digital economy is the main path to reduce carbon emissions. According to official statistics, in 2020, carbon dioxide emissions from national energy consumption accounted for 85% of total carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for about 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions, of which carbon emissions from the power sector accounted for about 40% of energy emissions. In-depth emission reduction needs to focus on the low-carbon transformation of the energy industry. In the digital economy era, the widespread application of digital technologies such as cloud computing and blockchain technology in the chains and links of energy production, consumption, trading, storage, and management can significantly reduce the carbon emission intensity and total amount of economic activities.

Digital technology empowers to help achieve the “dual carbon” goal

Regarding the realization of the “dual-carbon” goal of the digital economy through enabling the energy sector, the focus can be discussed from three aspects.

First, as far as the energy supply side is concerned, the data crawler and digital twin technology have reconstructed the modern energy management system. Based on information intelligent systems and deep learning algorithms, energy manufacturers can use the massive data generated every day to predict future trends and fluctuations in electrical energy demand, thereby reducing their own energy project expenditures; production managers can observe real-time monitoring and control parameters in the energy production process , Taking into account the proportional coordination and matching of various raw materials, improving processing and conversion efficiency and energy transmission, distribution and storage efficiency, and greatly reducing the management cost of production links in the traditional sense. A typical example is the Zhejiang Electric Power System Carbon Emission Monitoring Platform. The real-time monitoring of the carbon emissions of enterprise units and equipment has strongly promoted the intelligence and intensification of the energy production process; in addition, digital technologies such as the Internet of Things and cloud computing support the promotion and application of the platform economy and the sharing economy in the energy digital industry, and energy futures New energy development and utilization models such as management, environmental pollution trusteeship, and virtual power plants have sprung up. These have further promoted the reconstruction of energy utilization methods, the evolution of energy business models, the optimization of energy resource allocation, and improved the refinement of energy supply-side management. Level and overall efficiency of energy use.

Second, in terms of the demand side of energy, the digital economy has injected new vitality into the existing energy demand system . Emission testing and measurement of other environmental indicators have become possible, which creates an opportunity for the formation of a unified national carbon emission trading market and the role of related supporting facilities such as carbon registration, settlement and measurement.

Big data and digital twins can assist decision makers to better understand the cost differences of different cities, industries, and enterprises in terms of carbon emission reduction, and help the government make scientific planning and macro-control, and achieve demand-side management of carbon dioxide at the lowest economic cost. ; The digital economy accelerates the technological progress of enterprises and thus reduces the intensity of energy utilization. As the digital economy improves the refinement of production processes and the numerical control of industrial equipment, the production efficiency of enterprises, especially the energy use efficiency of products and processes, has been improved. Under the vision, companies have the motivation to continuously invest the remaining funds in low-carbon innovation and research and development to sell surplus carbon allowances for a fee in the future.

In addition, the digital economy has also effectively promoted the economic structure to green and low-carbon transformation. Data production factors have driven the profound changes in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries with their own characteristics, and promoted the integration and transformation of transportation, medical care, and construction industries. Structural changes and optimization and upgrading have brought about a low-carbon transformation of the energy demand structure, accelerating the transition from high-carbon to low-carbon, replacing fossil energy and “double high” production with clean technology and green production.

Third, in terms of energy trading links, digital technology has alleviated information asymmetry and time uncertainty. The algorithmic power of deep learning optimizes the signal transmission process on both sides of energy production and consumption, energy supply and demand, and reduces the energy trading process. Ineffective loss. In the past, information asymmetry was an important reason for the distortion of the traditional energy structure and the inefficiency of allocation. In the digital economy, platform companies have sprung up, the sharing economy has achieved a spurt of development, and energy market entities have achieved point-to-point precise transactions through multilateral platforms, greatly improving Improved energy transaction efficiency and resource allocation efficiency.

Digital supply chain and blockchain technology lead the energy system to flatten, such as encouraging electricity and gas users to independently participate in peak shaving and peak shifting. Distributed energy transforms traditional passive energy recipients into stable active energy suppliers. . In fact, due to the particularity of the energy industry, traditional energy trading links are mostly one-way information flows, and the response speed and stability of the system are facing greater challenges. The main operation mode of the energy system blessed by digital technology is decentralization, that is, from a centralized large energy network to a distributed two-way interaction. In addition, blockchain, financial technology, digital twins, etc. have promoted the construction and improvement of carbon footprint, green securities, green finance and other related mechanisms and systems, which will also promote the establishment of a multi-subject, diversified low-carbon green energy trading market .

The energy digital economy is not only the use of digital technology to empower the energy system, but also introduces a new development concept, new element organization method, and new market rules unique to the digital age into the existing energy system, that is, through the use of data as the core production factor , Use digital technology as the driving force to sublate the energy field, let the energy revolution and the digital revolution deeply integrate, benefit the society and people’s livelihood, so as to build a cleaner, more efficient, safe and sustainable modern energy system, and ultimately become the “dual carbon” goal Contribute to the sustainable development of the country.

Wu Qingyang: Author Unit: Institute of Economics, Tsinghua University


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