Indicator system to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of China clean power systems

Abstract

The mitigation of climate change demands a transition to low-carbon power generation systems. To identify effective transition strategies and accelerate the transition process, decision-makers require comprehensive information that can best be obtained through an evaluation of transition trajectories. However, little work has been done to develop comprehensive analysis systems that can evaluate this process. This study presents an indicator system to evaluate power system transitions that include 13 indicators capturing the technical, economic, environmental and policy dimensions. To test its efficacy, the dynamic target framework is applied to the power system transition in China, and comparisons are drawn against global market leaders such as Germany, the USA and Japan. This paper finds that the framework enables a more rigorous comparative analysis of power system transitions between countries than is currently offered by the application of piecemeal indicators. This framework complements contextually rich qualitative case studies. Empirical analysis shows that China’s transition trajectory has been convoluted because of its more severe environmental restrictions and policy guidance. Cooperation in the intelligent transition of the global power system can promote China’s power system transition. This approach should foster both the mitigation of climate change and adaptation to China’s resource constraints.

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Funding

We appreciate the comments from all the anonymous referees. This research is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (71433005, 71874074), Humanity and Social Science Plan Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (18YJC630208, 19YJC810007), Postdoctoral Science Funds of China (2019M663857).

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Correspondence to Guoxing Zhang.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 6 Data resources on China’s power system

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Nie, Y., Zhang, G. Indicator system to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of China clean power systems. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-020-09925-2

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Keywords

  • Power system transition
  • Evaluation indicator system
  • Socio-technical system
  • Comparative analysis