PublicationJournal Article Exploring the trade-​​offs between electric heating policy and carbon mitigation in China

November 27, 2020
  • Kammen, Daniel
  • Jianxiao Wang
  • Haiwang Zhong
  • Zhifang Yang
  • Mu Wang
  • Daniel M. Kammen
  • Zhu Liu
  • Ziming Ma
  • Qing Xia
  • Chongqing Kang
Publication Type:
Journal Article

China has enacted a series of poli­cies since 2015 to sub­sti­tute elec­tric­ity for in-​​home

com­bus­tion for rural res­i­den­tial heat­ing. The Elec­tric Heat­ing Pol­icy (EHP) has con­tributed to

sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in air qual­ity, ben­e­fit­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple. This shift,

how­ever, has resulted in a sharp increase in elec­tric loads and asso­ci­ated car­bon emissions.

Here, we show that China’s EHP will greatly increase car­bon emis­sions. We develop a

the­o­ret­i­cal model to quan­tify the car­bon emis­sions from power gen­er­a­tion and rural residential

heat­ing sec­tors. We found that in 2015, an addi­tional 101.69–162.89 mega­tons of CO2

could poten­tially be emit­ted if EHP was imple­mented in 45–55% of rural res­i­dents in

North­ern China. In 2020, the incre­men­tal car­bon emis­sion is expected to reach

130.03–197.87 mega­tons. For­tu­nately, the growth of car­bon emis­sion will slow down due to

China’s urban­iza­tion progress. In 2030, the car­bon emis­sion increase induced by EHP will

drop to 119.19–177.47 mega­tons. Finally, we con­clude two kinds of prac­ti­cal path­ways toward

low-​​carbon elec­tric heat­ing, and pro­vide techno-​​economic analyses.

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