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Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9540-9559; doi:10.3390/su7079540

The Effects of Coal Switching and Improvements in Electricity Production Efficiency and Consumption on CO2 Mitigation Goals in China

1
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Information Science & Technology University, 100192 Beijing, China
2
School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, 102206 Beijing, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Weidong Huang
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
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Abstract

Although the average CO2 emission for a person in China is only about 1/4 that of a person in the US, the government of China still made a commitment to ensure that CO2 emissions will reach their peak in 2030 because of the ever-increasing pressure of global warming. In this work, we examined the effects of coal switching, efficiency improvements in thermal power generation and the electricity consumption of economic activities on realizing this goal. An improved STIRPAT model was developed to create the scenarios. In order to make the estimated elasticities more consistent with different variables selected to construct the formulation, a double-layer STIRPAT model was constructed, and by integrating the two equations obtained by regressing the series in each layer, we finally got the equation to describe the long-run relationship among CO2 emissions (Ic), the share of coal in overall energy consumption (FMC), coal intensity of thermal power generation (CIp) and electricity intensity of GDP (EIelec). The long term elasticities represented by the equation show that the growth of CO2 emissions in China is quite sensitive to FMC, CIp and EIelec. After that, five scenarios were developed in order to examine the effects of China’s possible different CO2 emission reduction policies, focusing on improving FMC, CIp and EIelec respectively. Through a rigorous analysis, we found that in order to realize the committed CO2 emissions mitigating goal, China should obviously accelerate the pace in switching from coal to low carbon fuels, coupled with a consistent improvement in electricity efficiency of economic activities and a slightly slower improvement in the coal efficiency of thermal power generation. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal switching; coal intensity of thermal power generation; electricity intensity of GDP; renewable energies; STIRPAT coal switching; coal intensity of thermal power generation; electricity intensity of GDP; renewable energies; STIRPAT
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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Li, L.; Wang, J. The Effects of Coal Switching and Improvements in Electricity Production Efficiency and Consumption on CO2 Mitigation Goals in China. Sustainability 2015, 7, 9540-9559.

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