Policies to promote energy efficiency and air emissions reductions in China's electric power generation sector during the 11th and 12th five-year plan periods: Achievements, remaining challenges, and opportunities

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper reviews China's achievements in energy efficiency improvements and air emissions reductions from the electric power sector during the 11th five-year plan (FYP) (2006–2010) and 12th FYP (2011–2015) periods, and discusses the remaining challenges and opportunities for policy formulation. Mandates for closure of small coal-fired power plants (CFPPs), and replacement with large ones, together with the promulgation of air emissions standards and the development of renewable energy projects, have resulted in an improvement of 15% in energy efficiency and a reduction of 91%, 89% and 96% in emission rates of SO2, NOx and PM from China's electric power sector over the last decade. Compared to the United States, the Chinese electric power generation fleet is more energy efficient and has lower average emissions rates of SO2 and NOx. Despite these achievements, two characteristics of the current system pose serious challenges for China's clean power development: a) two thirds of China's power generation still rely on coal, and more CFPPs are being built and approved to be built; and b) high curtailment of renewable energy limits its benefits. We review the root causes of these challenges and highlight opportunities for enacting policies to address them.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, M; Patiño-Echeverri, D; Zhang, J

Published Date

  • February 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 125 /

Start / End Page

  • 429 - 444

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0301-4215

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.10.008

Citation Source

  • Scopus