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Committed CO2 emissions of China's coal-fired power generators from 1993 to 2013

Suqin Jiang, Zun Chen, Li Shan, Xinyu Chen and Haikun Wang

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 104, issue C, 295-302

Abstract: Coal-fired power plants generate large amount of CO2 emissions during their lifetimes of operation, which thus influences future CO2 emission space under specific targets on mitigating global climate change (e.g., the 2℃ warming limit relative to pre-industrial levels). In this study, we calculated China's committed CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generators installed during 1993–2013, and analyzed their effects on future emissions at a provincial level. Our results indicate that these relatively recently installed coal-fired power plants will lead to 106Gt of CO2 emissions over the course of their average lifetime, which is more than three times the global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2010. More than 80% (85Gt) of their total committed CO2 will be emitted after 2013, which are referred to as the remaining emissions. These remaining emissions would increase by 45Gt if the average lifetime of China's coal-fired power generators were prolonged to be 45 years. Furthermore, the remaining emissions are very different among various provinces owing to local developments and policy disparities. China's CO2 emission mitigation objectives might be greatly restricted by the existing and planned power plants, which have important policy implications for other rapidly developing countries.

Keywords: Climate change; Committed emissions; Remaining emissions; Existing infrastructure; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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