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Study on China's low carbon development in an Economy–Energy–Electricity–Environment framework

Hu, Zhaoguang, Yuan, Jiahai, Hu, Zheng
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.5 pp. 2596-2605
carbon, carbon dioxide, economic structure, electricity, emissions factor, energy conservation, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, oils, planning, power generation, sustainable development, China
Emissions mitigation is a major challenge for China's sustainable development. We summarize China's successful experiences on energy efficiency in past 30 years as the contributions of Energy Usage Management and Integrated Resource Strategic Planning, which are essential for low-carbon economy. In an Economy–Energy–Electricity–Environment (E4) framework, the paper studies the low-carbon development of China and gives an outlook of China's economy growth, energy–electricity demand, renewable power generation and energy conservation and emissions mitigation until 2030. A business-as-usual scenario is projected as baseline for comparison while low carbon energy and electricity development path is studied. It is defined as low carbon energy/electricity when an economy body manages to realize its potential economic growth fueled by less energy/electricity consumption, which can be characterized by indexes of energy/electricity intensity and emissions per-unit of energy consumption (electricity generation). Results show that, with EUM, China, could save energy by 4.38 billion ton oil equivalences (toes) and reduce CO₂ emission by 16.55 billion tons; with IRSP, China, could save energy by 1.5Btoes and reduce CO₂ emission by 5.7Btons, during 2010–2030. To realize the massive potential, China has to reshape its economic structure and rely much on technology innovation in the future.