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Energies 2015, 8(12), 13710-13725; doi:10.3390/en81212392

An Assessment of the Security of China’s Natural Gas Supply System Using Two Network Models

1
State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment/No. 19, Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
3
School of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard B. Coffin
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 14 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
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Abstract

In the context of climate change, natural gas is becoming increasingly important for low-carbon development in China. The gap between the demand and supply of natural gas, domestically, and China’s high dependence on foreign sources, highlights the importance of ensuring a secure system for supplying natural gas in the country. This study applied ecological network analysis, a powerful systems-oriented method, to simulate interactions between different nodes of the natural gas supply system and to evaluate the system’s security level. Two network models were constructed at the regional and national layers, respectively, by dividing external natural gas suppliers into multiple regions and countries. These models were used to evaluate the overall security level and related characteristics of China’s natural gas supply system from 2000 to 2012. The results showed stable improvement in the system’s security during this period. With the exceptions of some specific indicators (e.g., the mutualism index (MI)), analyses of network information and structure yielded the mostly similar results for the two models. In conclusion, a regional layer (RL) network model is considered more economical than a national layer (NL) model for evaluating the overall security of China’s natural gas supply system, especially when available data are limited. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy security; sustainability; efficiency; resilience; natural gas supply system; ecological network analysis energy security; sustainability; efficiency; resilience; natural gas supply system; ecological network analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, M.; Su, M.; Lu, W.; Su, C. An Assessment of the Security of China’s Natural Gas Supply System Using Two Network Models. Energies 2015, 8, 13710-13725.

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