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Coal cleaning: a viable strategy for reduced carbon emissions and improved environment in China?

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  • Glomsrod, Solveig
  • Taoyuan, Wei

Abstract

China is a dominant energy consumer in a global context and current energy forecasts emphasise that China’s future energy consumption also will rely heavily on coal. The coal use is the major source of the greenhouse gas CO2 and particles causing serious health damage. This paper looks into the question if coal washing might work as low cost strategy for both CO2 and particle emission reductions. Coal washing removes dirt and rock from raw coal, resulting in a coal product with higher thermal energy and less air pollutants. Coal cleaning capacity has so far not been developed in line with the market potential. In this paper an emerging market for cleaned coal is studied within a CGE model for China. The macro approach catches the repercussions of coal cleaning through increased energy efficiency, lower coal transportation costs and crowding out effect of investments in coal washing plants. Coal cleaning stimulates economic growth and reduces particle emissions, but total energy use, coal use and CO2 emissions increase through a rebound effect supported by the vast reserve of underemployed labourers. A carbon tax on fossil fuel combustion has a limited effect on total emissions. The reason is a coal leakage to tax exempted processing industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (March)
Pages: 525-542

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:33:y:2005:i:4:p:525-542

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Robinson, Sherman, 1989. "Multisectoral models," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 885-947 Elsevier.
  2. Garbaccio, Richard F. & Ho, Mun S. & Jorgenson, Dale W., 1999. "Controlling carbon emissions in China," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 493-518, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Karen Turner, 2009. "Negative rebound and disinvestment effects in response to an improvement in energy efficiency in the UK economy," Working Papers 0902, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  2. Solveig Glomsrød & Gang Liu & Taoyuan Wei & Jens B. Aune, 2008. "How well do tree plantations comply with the twin targets of the Clean Development Mechanism? The case of tree plantations in Tanzania," Discussion Papers 534, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Benchekroun, Hassan & Ray Chaudhuri, Amrita, 2014. "Transboundary pollution and clean technologies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 601-619.
  4. Liang, Qiao-Mei & Fan, Ying & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2007. "Carbon taxation policy in China: How to protect energy- and trade-intensive sectors?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 311-333.
  5. Copenhagen Economics, 2008. "Reduced VAT for environmentally friendly products," Taxation Studies 0025, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  6. Dimitropoulos, John, 2007. "Energy productivity improvements and the rebound effect: An overview of the state of knowledge," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6354-6363, December.
  7. Chang, Yen-Chiang & Wang, Nannan, 2010. "Environmental regulations and emissions trading in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3356-3364, July.
  8. Vennemo, Haakon & Aunan, Kristin & Jianwu, He & Tao, Hu & Shantong, Li, 2009. "Benefits and costs to China of three different climate treaties," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 139-160, August.
  9. Wei, Taoyuan, 2010. "A general equilibrium view of global rebound effects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 661-672, May.
  10. Karen Turner, 2008. "A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of the Relative Price Sensitivity Required to Induce Rebound Effects in Response to an Improvement in Energy Efficiency in the UK Economy," Working Papers 0807, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  11. Saunders, Harry D., 2008. "Fuel conserving (and using) production functions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2184-2235, September.

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