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China's 2020 clean energy target: Consistency, pathways and policy implications

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  • Yuan, Jiahai
  • Xu, Yan
  • Zhang, Xingping
  • Hu, Zheng
  • Xu, Ming

Abstract

China has proposed its 2020 clean energy target together with the climate change target of reducing CO2 intensity of the economy by 40–45% below the 2005 level. This article investigates the feasibility of these targets by testing their consistency under possible economic development scenarios. We analyse these targets from two perspectives: consistency with the overall economic growth and consistency with the international society's expectation on China's greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement responsibilities. The main findings are: under the recently announced 2020 target of gross domestic product (GDP) that is double the 2010 level, the adoption of a 15% clean energy target could result in excessive primary energy demand; and then with 40–45% GDP CO2 intensity reduction, CO2 emissions in 2020 could substantially exceed the International Energy Agency (IEA) 450ppm scenario for China. Thus we propose a 17% clean energy target that can reconcile the domestic plan with international expectation. Our article also outlines the pathways to realise clean energy development into 2020 and proposes policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Zhang, Xingping & Hu, Zheng & Xu, Ming, 2014. "China's 2020 clean energy target: Consistency, pathways and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 692-700.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:65:y:2014:i:c:p:692-700
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.09.061
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Wei & Yang, Jun & Sheng, Pengfei & Li, Xuesong & Wang, Xingwu, 2014. "Potential cooperation in renewable energy between China and the United States of America," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 403-409.
    2. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Kang, Junjie & Zhang, Xingping & Hu, Zheng, 2014. "Nonlinear integrated resource strategic planning model and case study in China's power sector planning," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 27-40.
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    4. Cai, Jialiang & Yin, He & Varis, Olli, 2016. "Impacts of industrial transition on water use intensity and energy-related carbon intensity in China: A spatio-temporal analysis during 2003–2012," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1112-1122.
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    7. Cheng, Beibei & Dai, Hancheng & Wang, Peng & Xie, Yang & Chen, Li & Zhao, Daiqing & Masui, Toshihiko, 2016. "Impacts of low-carbon power policy on carbon mitigation in Guangdong Province, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 515-527.
    8. Pareja-Alcaraz, Pablo, 2017. "Chinese investments in Southern Europe's energy sectors: Similarities and divergences in China's strategies in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 700-710.
    9. Li, Yanbin & Li, Yun & Wang, Bingqian & Chen, Zhuoer & Nie, Dan, 2016. "The status quo review and suggested policies for shale gas development in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 420-428.
    10. Yu, Zhiqiang & Ma, Wenhui & Xie, Keqiang & Lv, Guoqiang & Chen, Zhengjie & Wu, Jijun & Yu, Jie, 2017. "Life cycle assessment of grid-connected power generation from metallurgical route multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic system in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P1), pages 68-81.
    11. repec:eee:enepol:v:123:y:2018:i:c:p:349-359 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Mittal, Shivika & Dai, Hancheng & Fujimori, Shinichiro & Masui, Toshihiko, 2016. "Bridging greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy deployment target: Comparative assessment of China and India," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 301-313.
    13. Zhang, Ling & Zhou, Peng & Newton, Sidney & Fang, Jian-xin & Zhou, De-qun & Zhang, Lu-ping, 2015. "Evaluating clean energy alternatives for Jiangsu, China: An improved multi-criteria decision making method," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(P1), pages 953-964.
    14. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Hu, Zheng & Zhao, Changhong & Xiong, Minpeng & Guo, Jingsheng, 2014. "Peak energy consumption and CO2 emissions in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 508-523.
    15. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:39-53 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Clean energy development; CO2 emissions; China;

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