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Costs and potentials of energy conservation in China's coal-fired power industry: A bottom-up approach considering price uncertainties


  • Chen, Hao
  • Kang, Jia-Ning
  • Liao, Hua
  • Tang, Bao-Jun
  • Wei, Yi-Ming


Energy conservation technologies in the coal-fired power sector are important solutions for the environmental pollution and climate change issues. However, a unified framework for estimating their costs and potentials is still needed due to the wide technology choices, especially considering their economic feasibility under fuel and carbon price uncertainties. Therefore, this study has employed a bottom-up approach to analyze the costs and potentials of 32 key technologies’ new promotions during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016–2020), which combines the conservation supply curve (CSC) approach and break-even analysis. Findings show that (1) these 32 technologies have a total coal conservation potential of 275.77 Mt with a cost of 238.82 billion yuan, and their break-even coal price is 866 yuan/ton. (2) steam-water circulation system has the largest energy conservation potential in the coal-fired power industry. (3) considering the co-benefits will facilitate these technologies’ promotions, because their break-even coal prices will decrease by 2.35 yuan/ton when the carbon prices increase by 1 yuan/ton. (4) discount rates have the largest impacts on the technologies’ cost-effectiveness, while the future generation level affect their energy conservation potentials most.

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  • Chen, Hao & Kang, Jia-Ning & Liao, Hua & Tang, Bao-Jun & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2017. "Costs and potentials of energy conservation in China's coal-fired power industry: A bottom-up approach considering price uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 23-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:23-32
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.01.022

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, H. & Chyong CK. & Kang, J-N. & Wei Y-M., 2018. "Economic dispatch in the electricity sector in China: potential benefits and challenges ahead," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1836, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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