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Trend of technology innovation in China's coal-fired electricity industry under resource and environmental constraints


  • Yu, Fanxian
  • Chen, Jining
  • Sun, Fu
  • Zeng, Siyu
  • Wang, Can


This research builds a technology-based bottom-up model to estimate the performance of China's coal-fired electricity industry on resource consumption and environmental emissions. From the integrated estimation of three scenarios characterizing different stages of technology innovation in 2007-2030, technology innovation is proven to be the determinant in decreasing resource use and environmental effects from electricity production, but analysis based on current policies reveals some doubt in achieving the coal consumption intensity control target. Constrained with national control targets, the best route of technology innovation is calculated by integrated benefit targeting optimization. Supercritical (SC) and ultra-supercritical (USC) pressure boilers, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and closed-cycle wet cooling with a high circulation ratio will be the mainstream technologies before 2030 based on current policy. It is inevitable to close or reconstruct small power plants from the late 2010s, and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and pressurized fluidized bed combustion combined cycle (PFBC-CC) plants will show a competitive advantage in the late 2020s. However, air cooling and FGD systems will expand slower than the authorities' expectation, while higher water prices and SO2 charges promote the expansion. Stricter restrictions are also found to be positive for technological progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu, Fanxian & Chen, Jining & Sun, Fu & Zeng, Siyu & Wang, Can, 2011. "Trend of technology innovation in China's coal-fired electricity industry under resource and environmental constraints," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1586-1599, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:1586-1599

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Hui & Zhang, Bing & Bi, Jun, 2015. "More efforts, more benefits: Air pollutant control of coal-fired power plants in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 1-9.
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:195:y:2017:i:c:p:125-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zeng, Ming & Yang, Yongqi & Wang, Lihua & Sun, Jinghui, 2016. "The power industry reform in China 2015: Policies, evaluations and solutions," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 94-110.
    4. Chang, Yuan & Huang, Runze & Ries, Robert J. & Masanet, Eric, 2015. "Life-cycle comparison of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption for coal and shale gas fired power generation in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 335-343.
    5. Schreifels, Jeremy J. & Fu, Yale & Wilson, Elizabeth J., 2012. "Sulfur dioxide control in China: policy evolution during the 10th and 11th Five-year Plans and lessons for the future," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 779-789.
    6. Hui, Jingxuan & Cai, Wenjia & Wang, Can & Ye, Minhua, 2017. "Analyzing the penetration barriers of clean generation technologies in China’s power sector using a multi-region optimization model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P2), pages 1809-1820.
    7. Wang, Can & Ye, Minhua & Cai, Wenjia & Chen, Jining, 2014. "The value of a clear, long-term climate policy agenda: A case study of China’s power sector using a multi-region optimization model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 276-288.
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:291-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Wang, Ke & Wang, Shanshan & Liu, Lei & Yue, Hui & Zhang, Ruiqin & Tang, Xiaoyan, 2016. "Environmental co-benefits of energy efficiency improvement in coal-fired power sector: A case study of Henan Province, China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 810-819.
    10. Shang, Yizi & Lu, Shibao & Li, Xiaofei & Hei, Pengfei & Lei, Xiaohui & Gong, Jiaguo & Liu, Jiahong & Zhai, Jiaqi & Wang, Hao, 2017. "Balancing development of major coal bases with available water resources in China through 2020," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 735-750.
    11. Jiang, Suqin & Chen, Zun & Shan, Li & Chen, Xinyu & Wang, Haikun, 2017. "Committed CO2 emissions of China's coal-fired power generators from 1993 to 2013," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 295-302.
    12. Qin, Ying & Curmi, Elizabeth & Kopec, Grant M. & Allwood, Julian M. & Richards, Keith S., 2015. "China's energy-water nexus – assessment of the energy sector's compliance with the “3 Red Lines” industrial water policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 131-143.
    13. Kuramochi, Takeshi & Ramírez, Andrea & Turkenburg, Wim & Faaij, André, 2013. "Techno-economic prospects for CO2 capture from distributed energy systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 328-347.
    14. Zhu, Xiaojie & Guo, Ruipeng & Chen, Bin & Zhang, Jing & Hayat, Tasawar & Alsaedi, Ahmed, 2015. "Embodiment of virtual water of power generation in the electric power system in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 345-354.
    15. Hejazi, Mohamad & Edmonds, James & Clarke, Leon & Kyle, Page & Davies, Evan & Chaturvedi, Vaibhav & Wise, Marshall & Patel, Pralit & Eom, Jiyong & Calvin, Katherine & Moss, Richard & Kim, Son, 2014. "Long-term global water projections using six socioeconomic scenarios in an integrated assessment modeling framework," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 205-226.
    16. repec:eee:appene:v:235:y:2019:i:c:p:827-834 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:appene:v:235:y:2019:i:c:p:31-42 is not listed on IDEAS


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