IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aen/journl/ej42-2-ren.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Has China Overinvested in Coal Power?

Author

Listed:
  • Mengjia Ren, Lee G. Branstetter, Brian K. Kovak, Daniel Erian Armanios, and Jiahai Yuan

Abstract

In spite of ambitious investments by the Chinese government in renewable energy sources, the countryýs investment in coal power accelerated in recent years, raising concerns of massive overcapacity and undermining the central policy goal of promoting cleaner energy. In this paper, we ask why this happened, focusing on policies that incentivized excessive entry in the coal power sector and using a simple economic model to illustrate the policies' effects. Using coal-power project approval records from 2013 to 2016, we find the approval rate of coal power was about 3 times higher after approval authority was decentralized, with larger effects in regions producing more coal. We estimate that local coal production accounts for an additional 54GW of approved coal power in 2015 (other things equal), which is about 1/4 of total approved capacity in that year.

Suggested Citation

  • Mengjia Ren, Lee G. Branstetter, Brian K. Kovak, Daniel Erian Armanios, and Jiahai Yuan, 2021. "Why Has China Overinvested in Coal Power?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 113-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej42-2-ren
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/ejarticle.aspx?id=3629
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to IAEE members and subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shih, Victor & Adolph, Christopher & Liu, Mingxing, 2012. "Getting Ahead in the Communist Party: Explaining the Advancement of Central Committee Members in China," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 166-187, February.
    2. Li,Yining, 2012. "Economic Reform and Development in China," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107024052, November.
    3. Li, Hongbin & Zhou, Li-An, 2005. "Political turnover and economic performance: the incentive role of personnel control in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1743-1762, September.
    4. Wang, Qiang & Qiu, Huan-Ning & Kuang, Yaoqiu, 2009. "Market-driven energy pricing necessary to ensure China's power supply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2498-2504, July.
    5. Ma, Jinlong, 2011. "On-grid electricity tariffs in China: Development, reform and prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2633-2645, May.
    6. Wang, Qiang & Chen, Xi, 2012. "China's electricity market-oriented reform: From an absolute to a relative monopoly," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 143-148.
    7. Zhao, Xiaoli & Wang, Feng & Wang, Mei, 2012. "Large-scale utilization of wind power in China: Obstacles of conflict between market and planning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 222-232.
    8. Zhao, Xiaoli & Zhang, Sufang & Zou, Yasheng & Yao, Jin, 2013. "To what extent does wind power deployment affect vested interests? A case study of the Northeast China Grid," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 814-822.
    9. Long Lam & Lee Branstetter & Ines M. L. Azevedo, 2017. "Against the Wind: China's Struggle to Integrate Wind Energy into Its National Grid," Policy Briefs PB17-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Kahrl, Fredrich & Williams, James H. & Hu, Junfeng, 2013. "The political economy of electricity dispatch reform in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 361-369.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Yanlei & Song, Yan & Yuan, Jiahai, 2021. "Structural distortion and the shortage of peak-load power resources in China: A screening curve approach and case study of Shandong Province," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    2. Heerma van Voss, Bas & Rafaty, Ryan, 2022. "Sensitive intervention points in China's coal phaseout," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    3. Cao, Jing & Ho, Mun S. & Ma, Rong & Teng, Fei, 2021. "When carbon emission trading meets a regulated industry: Evidence from the electricity sector of China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    4. Guo, Hongye & Davidson, Michael R. & Chen, Qixin & Zhang, Da & Jiang, Nan & Xia, Qing & Kang, Chongqing & Zhang, Xiliang, 2020. "Power market reform in China: Motivations, progress, and recommendations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    5. Zhang, Weirong & Ren, Mengjia & Kang, Junjie & Zhou, Yiou & Yuan, Jiahai, 2022. "Estimating stranded coal assets in China's power sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Liu, Shuangquan & Yang, Qiang & Cai, Huaxiang & Yan, Minghui & Zhang, Maolin & Wu, Dianning & Xie, Mengfei, 2019. "Market reform of Yunnan electricity in southwestern China: Practice, challenges and implications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-1.
    2. Song, Feng & Bi, De & Wei, Chu, 2019. "Market segmentation and wind curtailment: An empirical analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 831-838.
    3. Cheng, Chuntian & Chen, Fu & Li, Gang & Ristić, Bora & Mirchi, Ali & Qiyu, Tu & Madani, Kaveh, 2018. "Reform and renewables in China: The architecture of Yunnan's hydropower dominated electricity market," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 682-693.
    4. Cao, Xun & Kleit, Andrew & Liu, Chuyu, 2016. "Why invest in wind energy? Career incentives and Chinese renewable energy politics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 120-131.
    5. Zhou, Kaile & Yang, Shanlin, 2015. "Demand side management in China: The context of China’s power industry reform," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 954-965.
    6. Tomas Baležentis & Dalia Štreimikienė, 2019. "Sustainability in the Electricity Sector through Advanced Technologies: Energy Mix Transition and Smart Grid Technology in China," Energies, MDPI, vol. 12(6), pages 1-21, March.
    7. Naughton, Barry, 2016. "Inside and outside: The modernized hierarchy that runs China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 404-415.
    8. Thomas F. Remington & Andrei A. Yakovlev & Elena Ovchinnikova & Alexander Chasovsky, 2020. "Career Trajectories Of Regional Officials: Russia And China Before And After 2012," HSE Working papers WP BRP 754/PS/2020, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    9. Song, Chun & Sesmero, Juan Pablo, 2017. "Tenure Stability and Environmental Performance: a Study of Chinese Cities," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258033, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Meng, Ming & Mander, Sarah & Zhao, Xiaoli & Niu, Dongxiao, 2016. "Have market-oriented reforms improved the electricity generation efficiency of China's thermal power industry? An empirical analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 734-741.
    11. Wang, Chen & Zhou, Kaile & Yang, Shanlin, 2017. "A review of residential tiered electricity pricing in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 533-543.
    12. Chen, Hao & Cui, Jian & Song, Feng & Jiang, Zhigao, 2022. "Evaluating the impacts of reforming and integrating China's electricity sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    13. Ling, Leng & Luo, Danglun & SHE, Guoman, 2019. "Judging a book by its Cover: The influence of physical attractiveness on the promotion of regional leaders," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 1-14.
    14. Michael R. Davidson & Fredrich Kahrl & Valerie J. Karplus, 2016. "Towards a political economy framework for wind power: Does China break the mould?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2016-32, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Zhang, Muyang & Zhou, Guangsu & Fan, Gang, 2020. "Political Control and Economic Inequality: Evidence from Chinese Cities," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    16. Deng, Yuping & Wu, Yanrui & Xu, Helian, 2019. "Political turnover and firm pollution discharges: An empirical study," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    17. Hanming Fang & Ming Li & Zenan Wu, 2022. "Tournament-Style Political Competition and Local Protectionism: Theory and Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 30780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Cai, Weixing & Hu, Feng & Xu, Fangming & Zheng, Liyi, 2022. "Anti-corruption campaign and corporate cash holdings: Evidence from China," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(PA).
    19. Jiajing Sun & Michael Cole & Zhiyuan Huang & Shouyang Wang, 2019. "Chinese leadership: Provincial perspectives on promotion and performance," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 37(4), pages 750-772, June.
    20. Chen, Shuo & Qiao, Xue & Zhu, Zhitao, 2021. "Chasing or cheating? Theory and evidence on China's GDP manipulation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 657-671.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej42-2-ren. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: David Williams (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iaeeeea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.