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Title: Integrating air quality, water and climate concerns into China's energy strategy
Authors: Peng, Wei
Advisors: Mauzerall, Denise L
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: Air pollution
Climate change
Subjects: Public policy
Environmental studies
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: As the world’s top carbon emitter, China also suffers from serious air pollution and increasingly severe water stress. My dissertation focuses on a variety of energy strategies in China and examines potential synergies and tradeoffs between air quality, water conservation and carbon mitigation objectives. It includes four analytical chapters. Chapter 2 and 3 examines the air quality and climate implications of a variety policy options in the near term and at the 2030 time horizon, respectively. Based on an integrated assessment using regional air pollution model and epidemiological evidence, I find that improving industrial energy efficiency is the most effective near-term strategy to curb air pollution and carbon emissions, while electrifying end-use sectors (e.g. vehicles and residential stoves) with decarbonized electricity will likely become the favorable co-control strategy in 2030. These two chapters hence provide a scientific basis for policymakers in China to coordinate air pollution and carbon mitigation strategies. Chapter 4 and 5 then examines the role of electricity transmission, as a critical element of the electrification strategy, in the nexus of air pollution, water stress and carbon emissions. Chapter 4 evaluates the potential air quality and climate benefits of long-distance electricity transmission in China in the near term. I find that transmitting a hybrid mix of renewable and coal power can be a cost-effective energy transfer strategy to curb air pollution impacts and carbon emissions, because it not only utilizes zero-carbon renewable resources in the west, but also displaces coal power generation and associated air pollution impacts in highly populated eastern regions. Chapter 5 studies the potential tradeoffs in the transmission system designs to achieve air quality or water conservation benefits from a decarbonized generation system. Since air pollution and water stress are severe in eastern and northern China respectively, I find that an increasing priority on air pollution control would favor a larger amount of electricity transmission into eastern population centers, while an increasing priority on water conservation would favor using locally produced renewable power or imported electricity to displace fossil generation in northern water-stressed regions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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