CO2 emissions embodied in interprovincial electricity transmissions in China

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Existing studies on the evaluation of CO2 emissions due to electricity consumption in China are inaccurate and incomplete. This study uses a network approach to calculate CO2 emissions of purchased electricity in Chinese provinces. The CO2 emission factors of purchased electricity range from 265 g/kWh in Sichuan to 947 g/kWh in Inner Mongolia. We find that emission factors of purchased electricity in many provinces are quite different from the emission factors of electricity generation. This indicates the importance of the network approach in accurately reflecting embodied emissions. We also observe substantial variations of emissions factors of purchased electricity within subnational grids: the provincial emission factors deviate from the corresponding subnational-grid averages from −58% to 44%. This implies that using subnational-grid averages as required by Chinese government agencies can be quite inaccurate for reporting indirect CO2 emissions of enterprises’ purchased electricity. The network approach can improve the accuracy of the quantification of embodied emissions in purchased electricity and emission flows embodied in electricity transmission.

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Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Environmental Science & Technology
Date Published: 
August 9, 2017
Persistent URL: 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01814
Full Citation: 
Qu, Shen, Sai Liang, and Ming Xu. (2017) “CO2 emissions embodied in interprovincial electricity transmissions in China.” Environmental Science & Technology. 51(18): 10893-10902.
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