Low Carbon China

By Nicolas Nath, CEO and founder of Internat Energy Solutions.

Why do we work in China?

Most people agree that in terms of environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, energy consumption, transportation, mass urbanization, renewable energy consumption & production, and innovation, China has become a fundamental part of the world equation when it comes to addressing climate change.

I have a deep personal interest in China, first of all because I spent my most formative years there, and got the chance to see China from a very different perspective, learning the language and understanding a part of the culture from the inside (growing up in Beijing in the 80’s from the ages of 8 to 16 and continuing my high school in Hong Kong has given me a good base).  Part of my family is still in Beijing and has been there for the last thirty years; this gives us a very unique understanding and appreciation of China, and partly explains why Internat Energy Solutions has developed projects there from the very beginning.

When I went back to China after my engineering studies in Canada, I re-discovered a very different China from the memories of my childhood, and saw the direct impact of this spectacular growth on the environment, on air pollution, on water pollution, on the fast-paced construction of new buildings. But I also saw a new China emerging; brand new factories with state of the art equipment specialized in solar photovoltaics, I saw the world’s biggest producer and consumer of solar thermal systems, new factories specialized in wind and energy storage, the 2000s was a real boom of innovation.

At that point I realized that where ever my entrepreneurial experience would lead me, China would stay a big part of that equation!

Our early projects

In July 2010, Internat Energy Solutions organized the participation of the City of Bordeaux to the ‘China Low-Carbon Cities’ series of seminars initiated by the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) and The Climate Group. These seminars aimed at granting Chinese mayors with best-practice knowledge on low-carbon cities development, as put into practice all over the world; notable speakers included such prestigious personalities as the mayors of London and Seattle.

The City of Bordeaux, represented by former Prime Minister of France and Mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe, explained how the French greenhouse gases methodology and instruments played a key role in designing the Territorial Climate and Energy Plan (TCEP), keystone of Bordeaux’s climate change strategy.

This marked the beginning of the dynamic and interest in the French methodology and was soon followed by our first project in Tianjin.

Internat Energy Solutions has been specifically mandated by ADEME to adapt its TCEP and GHG reduction tools to China.  For instance, in order to adapt the methodology to China it is necessary for Internat Energy Solutions to research and calculate the GHG emission factors specific to each location in order to obtain the most accurate results possible.

The TEDA eco centre is an industrial zone in the port of Tianjin (two hours by train from Beijing).  Our mission was to begin the adaptation of emission factors with three pilot projects in the Tianjin area.  One administrative office building, one hotel, and one factory of Schneider Electric.

To be continued in our next blog post. Nicolas will talk about our projects in Wuhan and Shenzhen.

Nicolas en Chine