Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from power generation in China's provinces in 2020

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Carbon intensity of power generation is an important indicator to show the direct competitiveness of electricity against the combustion of fossil fuels. In this study, we estimate the carbon intensities of power generation in China's provinces. Most provinces are likely to have a carbon intensity per unit of power generation between 500 and 700 g CO2/kWh in 2020, which justifies the progress of electrification from the power generation perspective. With the growing share of low carbon power generation, most provinces show trends of decline in carbon intensity between 2015 and 2020. However, some provinces are expected to see increase in carbon intensity due to increasing share of coal power generation in their power mixes. Coal is still a major growth contributor in most provinces, despite significant growths of low carbon energy sources. Furthermore, renewable energy sources can help reduce the carbon intensity of power generation, but a better coordination among provinces is required, alongside with strong government support and direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date25 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Carbon intensity
  • Power generation
  • Provinces in China

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