Modelling tools to evaluate China's future energy system - a review of the Chinese perspective

Peggy Mischke, Kenneth Bernard Karlsson

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    3 Downloads (Pure)


    Research efforts to analyse China’s future energy system increased tremendously over the past decade. One prominent research area is China’s first binding CO2 emission intensity target per unit of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and its impact on the country’s economy and energy system. This paper compares 18 energy modelling tools from ten Chinese institutions. These models have been described in English language publications between 2005 and 2013, although not all are published in peer-reviewed journals. When comparing the results for three main energy system indicators across models, this paper finds that there are considerable ranges in the reference scenarios: (i) GDP is projected to grow by 630e840% from 2010 to 2050, (ii) energy demand could increase by 200e300% from 2010 to 2050, and (iii) CO2 emissions could rise by 160e250% from 2010 to 2050. Although the access to the modelling tools and the underlying data remains challenging, this study concludes that the Chinese perspective, independently from the modelling approach and institution, suggests a rather gradual and long-term transition towards a low carbon economy in China. Few reference scenarios include an emission peak or stabilisation period before 2040. While policy scenarios frequently suggest efficiency improvements, a short-term and largescale introduction of non-fossil power technologies is rarely recommended.
    © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)132–143
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Energy-economy models
    • China
    • Chinese modelling tools
    • Future energy system
    • Energy systems analysis
    • Energy planning

    Cite this