Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Peng, Liqun
Advisors: Mauzerall, Denise L.
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Subjects: Environmental studies
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: China’s rapid economic growth has been fueled by the fossil-fuel dominated energy system. China is the world’s top carbon emitter, and it also suffers from serious air pollution. A large-scale energy transition toward significantly less coal and other fossil fuel consumption is necessary for tackling both GHG mitigation and regional air pollution simultaneously in China. To achieve a large-scale and low-carbon energy transition in China, it is critical that the Chinese government strengthens its commitment to policies that increase the share of renewable and clean energy sources in its energy mix, as well as foster the development of a diversified portfolio of clean energy technologies. My dissertation focuses on a variety of low-carbon technology deployment polices in China and examines potential synergies and tradeoffs between air quality, carbon emission mitigation and economic costs in the decarbonization of China’s energy system. It includes three analytical chapters. Chapter 2 estimates the climate, air quality and health co-benefits of alternative energy vehicles (AEVs, e.g., electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). I find that co-benefits increase dramatically as the electricity grid decarbonizes and hydrogen is produced from non-fossil fuels (i.e., green hydrogen). Relative to 2015, a conversion to AEVs using largely non-fossil power can reduce air pollution and associated premature mortalities and years of life lost by 329,000 persons/year and 1,611,000 life years/year. Thus, maximizing climate, air quality, and health benefits of AEV deployment in China requires rapid decarbonization of the power system. Chapter 3 evaluates heterogeneous effects of battery storage deployment strategies on decarbonization of provincial power systems in China. I find that battery deployment strategies will affect national electricity transmission and provincial coal-fired power generation and CO2 emissions. We then allow each province to deploy any of the three battery strategies and find that intra- and inter-provincial heterogeneity in battery deployment results in lowest system costs. System costs are minimized when provinces with abundant (limited) renewable resources relative to their electricity demand directly couple batteries to renewable generation (deploy demand side batteries). Provinces with intermediate renewable generation minimize costs when batteries are directly connected to the grid. Chapter 4 analyzes the tradeoffs between subsidies and life cycle GHG emissions in electrolytic hydrogen production. I find that financial subsidies are necessary to accelerate electrolytic hydrogen development. Electrolytic hydrogen will become cost-competitive with brown or grey hydrogen after 2040. However, subsidizing grid-based electrolytic hydrogen can’t effectively reduce GHG emissions from 2025-2030 because of the low level of decarbonized power system. Higher subsidies in renewable-based hydrogen result in lower costs for CO2 emission reductions. Transporting hydrogen with pipelines leads to a 12-20% drop in LCOH2 within individual provinces and a 24-31% increase in life cycle GHG emissions due to higher emissions from low H2 production cost provinces that use high coal grid electricity and H2 leakage.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Peng_princeton_0181D_14408.pdf12.75 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.