Climate Change Research ›› 2020, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (5): 632-640.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2020.075

• Greenhouse Gas Emissions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on peaking carbon emissions of power sector in China and the emissions mitigation analysis

CHEN Yi1(), TIAN Chuan1, CAO Ying1, LIU Qiang1, ZHENG Xiao-Qi2()   

  1. 1 National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, Beijing 100035, China
    2 School of Economics, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2020-04-17 Revised:2020-05-14 Online:2020-09-30 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: ZHENG Xiao-Qi;


The power sector is a major carbon emissions source from fossil fuel combustion, and it plays an important role in controlling China’s emissions and achieving emissions peak target. In this paper, learning curve tool is used to evaluate the development of wind power and solar PV power as the two most promising renewable sources, while bottom up calculating method is used to analyze other technologies’ developments under current policy scenario and enhanced policy scenario. The carbon emissions under two policy scenarios are calculated before 2035, and it is found that carbon emissions peak around 2030 with non-fossil fuels accounting for 44% in total power generation under current policy scenario, while they peak before 2025 with non-fossil fuels taking a higher share of 51% at 2030 under enhanced polices. The developments of renewables are major drivers lowering the emissions from power sector, contributing 45%, 54% and 62% of the total emission reductions at 2025, 2030 and 2035 respectively. On the other hand, though the coal power capacity still sees room to grow from the perspective of safeguarding the power supply, it is still necessary to enhance the control on coal power capacity and make best efforts to keep it under 1100 GW.

Key words: Power sector, Learning curve tool, Peaking carbon emission, Carbon mitigation

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