Determinants of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Interconnected Grids in China

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While direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by China’s power sector from the generation side have been widely investigated, driving forces from the electricity consumption perspective and inter-regional electricity transmission have been overlooked to a large extent. This study quantified relative contributions of six factors to changes in GHG emissions from interconnected grids in China during 2008–2015. These six factors include three generation-side factors (i.e., fuel mix of thermal power generation, energy efficiency of thermal power generation, and electricity structure), two consumption-side factors (i.e., electricity efficiency of GDP and GDP), and electricity transmission structure. GDP growth and changes in fuel mix of thermal power generation are two major drivers of increased GHG emission during 2008–2015, especially for the North China Grid. In contrast, changes in electricity transmission structure (especially in East China Grid and Southern China Grid), the increase in electricity efficiency of GDP (except for Northwest China Grid), improvements in energy efficiency of thermal power generation (especially in North China Grid and Central China Grid), and changes in electricity structure (especially in Southern Power Grid) are major factors offsetting GHG emission increments. Findings of this study can provide multiple-perspective policy implications for GHG mitigation in China’s power sector.

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Journal Article
Environmental Science and Technology
Date Published: 
January 2, 2019
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Wang, Hongxia, Weicai Wang, Sai Liang, Chao Zhang, Shen Qu, Yuhan Liang, Yumeng Li, Ming Xu, and Zhifeng Yang. (2019) “Determinants of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Interconnected Grids in China.” Environmental Science and Technology 53(3): 1432-1440.
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