Energy and air pollution benefits of household fuel policies in northern China

Wenjun Meng, Qirui Zhong, Yilin Chen, Huizhong Shen, Xiao Yun, Kirk R Smith, Bengang Li, Junfeng Liu, Xilong Wang, Jianmin Ma, Hefa Cheng, Eddy Y Zeng, Dabo Guan, Armistead G Russell, Shu Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to many recent actions taken to reduce emissions from energy production, industry, and transportation, a new campaign substituting residential solid fuels with electricity or natural gas has been launched in Beijing, Tianjin, and 26 other municipalities in northern China, aiming at solving severe ambient air pollution in the region. Quantitative analysis shows that the campaign can accelerate residential energy transition significantly, and if the planned target can be achieved, more than 60% of households are projected to remove solid fuels by 2021, compared with fewer than 20% without the campaign. Emissions of major air pollutants will be reduced substantially. With 60% substitution realized, emission of primary PM2.5 and contribution to ambient PM2.5 concentration in 2021 are projected to be 30% and 41% of those without the campaign. With 60% substitution, average indoor PM2.5 concentrations in living rooms in winter are projected to be reduced from 209 (190 to 230) μg/m3 to 125 (99 to 150) μg/m3 The population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations can be reduced from 140 μg/m3 in 2014 to 78 μg/m3 or 61 μg/m3 in 2021 given that 60% or 100% substitution can be accomplished. Although the original focus of the campaign was to address ambient air quality, exposure reduction comes more from improved indoor air quality because ∼90% of daily exposure of the rural population is attributable to indoor air pollution. Women benefit more than men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16773-16780
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
Early online date5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019

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