Structural and technological determinants of carbon intensity reduction of China's electricity generation.

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Journal Article
Environmental science and pollution research international, 2021, 28, (11), pp. 13469-13486
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Electricity generation is the largest sector with decarbonization potential for China and the world. Based on the new emission factors, this paper aims to identify the structural and technological determinants of provincial carbon intensity in the electricity generation sector (CIE) using the multiplicative LMDI-II method. Results demonstrate that (1) China's overall CIE decreases by 7.3% in 2001-2015, and the research period can be divided into four stages according to CIE changes (i.e., rapid growth, rapid decline, slow growth, and transition). The CIE in the 12th FYP estimated in this paper, 24.9% lower than that using the emission factors from IPCC, is closer to China's actual situation. (2) There exists huge heterogeneity in the determinants of provincial CIE changes in four stages. CIE growth in the Northwest and Northeast is caused by the coal-dominated energy structure. CIE growth in the Southwest is attributed to the electricity structure effect, while that of the Coast region is caused by the geographic distribution effect. The electricity efficiency effect is attributed to the CIE growth for these regions and the Southwest should also place focus on the electricity trade effect. The impact of electricity trade-related factors depends on the region being a net exporter or importer of electricity. (3) To achieve carbon intensity reduction targets, 30 provinces are categorized into four types based on various combinations of structural and technological determinants. The findings provide insights into capturing future emission-mitigating focus as well as defining the emission-mitigating responsibilities between electricity exporters and importers in China.
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