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Sustainability 2013, 5(12), 5081-5099; doi:10.3390/su5125081

Simulation Analysis of China’s Energy and Industrial Structure Adjustment Potential to Achieve a Low-carbon Economy by 2020

4,*  and 1,3,*
1 School of Humanities and Economic Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China 2 Graduate School of Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China 3 Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resource, Beijing 100083, China 4 School of Environment Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 22 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
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To achieve a low-carbon economy, China has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40%–45% by 2020 from 2005 levels and increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to approximately 15%. It is necessary to investigate whether this plan is suitable and how this target may be reached. This paper verifies the feasibility of achieving the CO2 emission targets by energy and industrial structure adjustments, and proposes applicable measures for further sustainable development by 2020 through comprehensive simulation. The simulation model comprises three sub-models: an energy flow balance model, a CO2 emission model, and a socio-economic model. The model is constructed based on input-output table and three balances (material, value, and energy flow balance), and it is written in LINGO, a linear dynamic programming language. The simulation results suggest that China’s carbon intensity reduction promise can be realized and even surpassed to 50% and that economic development (annual 10% GDP growth rate) can be achieved if energy and industrial structure are adjusted properly by 2020. However, the total amount of CO2 emission will reach a relatively high level—13.68 billion tons—which calls for further sound approaches to realize a low carbon economy, such as energy utilization efficiency improvement, technology innovation, and non-fossil energy’s utilization.
Keywords: low-carbon economy; energy balance; industrial structure; dynamic simulation low-carbon economy; energy balance; industrial structure; dynamic simulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Xiang, N.; Xu, F.; Sha, J. Simulation Analysis of China’s Energy and Industrial Structure Adjustment Potential to Achieve a Low-carbon Economy by 2020. Sustainability 2013, 5, 5081-5099.

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