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Health and economic benefits of cleaner residential heating in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region in China

Xiang Zhang, Yana Jin, Hancheng Dai, Yang Xie and Shiqiu Zhang

Energy Policy, 2019, vol. 127, issue C, 165-178

Abstract: Millions of households in many underdeveloped countries use coal stoves for heating, which remains a major air pollution source. Since 2015, policies for substituting residential coal use with electricity have been implemented at unprecedented levels in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region, one of the most severely air polluted areas in China. This study evaluated the health benefits of the residential “coal-to-electricity” policy in the BTH region. We developed an integrated assessment model to investigate the impact of the policy on both the ambient and indoor air quality improvement. The private health benefits from indoor air quality improvements do not justify the costs. However, adding the spillover public health benefits from ambient air quality improvements, the policy brings net social benefits to the BTH region. Compared to a no-policy scenario, Beijing obtains the most health benefits and enjoys the most synergies from regional cooperation among the three provinces/municipalities. Hebei bears the highest cost since it has more households fueled by coal. Our results showing net social benefits provide support for a massive and accelerated implementation of this policy in the BTH region. The provincial distributional results can provide a reference for subsidies from Beijing and Tianjin to Hebei for achieving region-wide implementation.

Keywords: Coal-to-electricity policy; Ambient air pollution; Indoor air pollution; Health benefits; Residential heating; IMED model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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