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Growing Chinese coal use: Dramatic resource and environmental implications

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  • Shealy, Malcolm
  • Dorian, James P.

Abstract

Chinese coal consumption continues to rise as the country's economy and industry expand. Coal is particularly critical for China's fast-growing power sector, generating about 80% of electricity output. Notwithstanding the importance of coal and electricity, many international forecasts today underestimate their rising use in China. This paper acknowledges the current world financial crisis and assumes that Chinese GDP growth to 2025 will not again approach double-digit levels. Using the scenario analysis, this paper demonstrates that even with conservative assumptions about Chinese GDP growth and income elasticity of electric demand to 2025, the country will likely experience much higher coal demand and emit much greater volumes of carbon dioxide than forecast by various international energy agencies. The paper also analyzes how China's domestic coal reserves may be threatened within two decades, possibly affecting long-term economic growth in China, as well as world coal prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Shealy, Malcolm & Dorian, James P., 2010. "Growing Chinese coal use: Dramatic resource and environmental implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2116-2122, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:5:p:2116-2122
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tao, Zaipu & Li, Mingyu, 2007. "What is the limit of Chinese coal supplies--A STELLA model of Hubbert Peak," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3145-3154, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Tverberg, Gail E., 2013. "An analysis of China's coal supply and its impact on China's future economic growth," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 542-551.
    2. Wang, Jianliang & Feng, Lianyong & Davidsson, Simon & Höök, Mikael, 2013. "Chinese coal supply and future production outlooks," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 204-214.
    3. Suganthi, L. & Samuel, Anand A., 2012. "Energy models for demand forecasting—A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 1223-1240.
    4. repec:eee:energy:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:825-836 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Zhang, XiaoHong & Hu, He & Zhang, Rong & Deng, ShiHuai, 2014. "Interactions between China׳s economy, energy and the air emissions and their policy implications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 624-638.
    6. Jovancic, Predrag & Tanasijevic, Milos & Ivezic, Dejan, 2011. "Serbian energy development based on lignite production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1191-1199, March.
    7. Kahrl, Fredrich & Williams, Jim & Jianhua, Ding & Junfeng, Hu, 2011. "Challenges to China's transition to a low carbon electricity system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4032-4041, July.
    8. Tang, Xu & Snowden, Simon & McLellan, Benjamin C. & Höök, Mikael, 2015. "Clean coal use in China: Challenges and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 517-523.
    9. Wang, Run & Liu, Wenjuan & Xiao, Lishan & Liu, Jian & Kao, William, 2011. "Path towards achieving of China's 2020 carbon emission reduction target--A discussion of low-carbon energy policies at province level," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2740-2747, May.

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