China’s electricity emission intensity in 2020 – an analysis at provincial level

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In order to maintain the 2°C climate change target, global carbon intensity of electricity generation needs to achieve a short-term target of 600 g/kWh by 2020. This target is important for China, which has been the largest consumer and producer of electricity since 2011. China has set ambitious targets to reduce its electricity carbon intensity in the 13th five-year plan. For a country as large as China, the outcomes of these policies rely on the implementation strategies and effectiveness of each province. In this study, we estimate the carbon intensities of power generation in China’s provinces by 2020. Results show that despite progress in renewable energy growth most provinces are expected to have carbon intensities well above 600 g/kWh by 2020. Renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon intensities in most provinces, but the magnitude of such impacts depends on the coordination among provinces. The over-dependence on coal power generation has made carbon capture and storage a necessity for China’s provinces to reduce their carbon intensity for power generation. Therefore, government support should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2779–2785
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • renewable energy
  • carbon intensity
  • power generation
  • China

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