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Low-carbon Development of Municipal Sewage Treatment Industry in China: Status Quo, Prospects, Problems and Policy Options (No.159, 2021)


By Chang Jiwen, Jing Yuanyuan, Geng Yu & Song Xiaotong, Research Team on “Ways and Countermeasures to Achieve China’s Goal of Realizing Peak Carbon Dioxide Emissions before 2030 and Carbon Neutrality before 2060”, DRC

Research Report, No.159, 2021 (Total 6224) 2021-6-16

Abstract: The municipal sewage treatment industry has made initial achievements in exploring energy saving, heat generation and refrigeration, boasting an overall and comprehensive potential in low carbon development. In order to promote the low-carbon transformation of the industry, it is necessary to figure out the basic potential of the national low-carbon development, formulate the transformation goals in different phases, come up with assessment mechanisms, set up a refined low-carbon standard system, establish a mechanism for sewage treatment price adjustment and operation subsidy based on the contribution to carbon emissions reduction and energy conversion effects, and set out a national science and technology special project for the low-carbon development of the industry. In order to utilize sewage energy, we need to promote regional linkage from the planning level. With regard to the utilization of thermal energy generated by biogas and sludge, it is necessary to pay attention to the systematic management of plant network, increase the concentration of organic matter in the influent water, support the cross-regional and co-processing of sludge with other organic matter and include the cost of sludge disposal into the price of sewage treatment. In a bid to promote energy-saving of operations, we need to roll out low-carbon standards and measures to meet relevant requirements, reasonably determine drainage standards and sludge disposal standards, and prevent refractory organic substance from entering the municipal sewage channel. In order to develop photovoltaic power generation, it is necessary to enrich the standards and formulate performance incentive policies.

Keywords: municipal sewage, sludge, energy saving, consumption reduction, low carbon