Economics & Global Affairs

22 Items

Discussion Paper

Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China

| May 2014

China has ambitious goals for developing and deploying electric vehicles (EV). The stated intention is to “leapfrog” the auto industries of other countries and seize the emerging EV market. Since 2009, policies have included generous subsidies for consumers in certain locations, as well as strong pressure on local governments to purchase EVs. Yet four years into the program, progress has fallen far short of the intended targets. China has only about 40,000 EVs on the road, of which roughly 80% are public fleet vehicles such as buses and sanitation vehicles.

A coal mine near Hailar, northeastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 13 August 2005.

Herry Lawford Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The South China Morning Post

China's Coal Addiction a Threat to Its Energy Security

| May 14, 2014

"...[U]ntil now, Beijing's response to unmet energy demand has focused primarily on securing resources overseas, and building infrastructure for imports. China now generates more electricity from imported coal than from nuclear, wind and solar combined. Without a strong, coordinated policy shift, the country will depend on fuel imports for most of its energy consumption by the time it becomes a developed country."

Geothermal borehole house in Iceland, 14 March 2008.

Lydur Skulason Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

OPEC Embargo +40: What Have We Learned?

| October 18, 2013

"If countries have learned anything, it is that they can protect themselves and become more resilient if they adopt policies and programs that increase their energy self-sufficiency. It turns out that this can be done much more quickly than anyone thought, if they build on what they have."

Wind turbines generate electricity at the Qiyueshan Wind Farm in Lichuan city, central China's Hubei province, 7 December 2010.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Energy Economics

The Price of Wind Power in China During its Expansion: Technology Adoption, Learning-by-doing, Economies of Scale, and Manufacturing Localization

| May 2012

Using the bidding prices of participants in China's national wind project concession programs from 2003 to 2007, this paper built up a learning curve model to estimate the joint learning from learning-by-doing and learning-by-searching, with a novel knowledge stock metric based on technology adoption in China through both domestic technology development and international technology transfer. The paper describes, for the first time, the evolution of the price of wind power in China, and provides estimates of how technology adoption, experience building wind farm projects, wind turbine manufacturing localization, and wind farm economies of scale have influenced the price of wind power.

A Chinese worker recharges an electric taxi at an EV charging station in Beijing, China, Jan. 9, 2011.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Energy

Integrated Energy Strategy for the Sustainable Development of China

    Authors:
  • Linwei Ma
  • Pei Liu
  • Zheng Li
  • Weidou Ni
| February 2011

The authors of this article propose, summarize, and present strategic ideas as policy implications for China's decision-makers. In conclusion, they determine that China should enhance strategic planning and regulation from a life cycle viewpoint of the whole society, prioritize energy saving, continuously improve incumbent energy, and rationally develop alternative energy.

A man stands beside his house as smoke is seen billowing from a thermoelectric power plant in Changchun, China on April 12, 2010. China still faces challenges in the transition to a low-carbon economy and needs integrated solution systems.

AP Photo

Journal Article - China Environment Series

Advancing Carbon Capture and Sequestration in China: A Global Learning Laboratory

| 2010/2011

China's dependency on coal fuels the country's phenomenal economic growth but at a major cost to the country's air and water quality, ultimately threatening human health and the country's continued economic growth. The Chinese government's efforts to put China onto a cleaner, low carbon development path have been substantial; however China's pollution and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow. In an attempt to develop its own advanced coal generation technologies to improve the country's air quality and energy efficiency, the Chinese government is investing heavily in gasification and other technologies that can be employed in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) applications. This investment has turned China into a global laboratory for CCS pilot projects, attracting foreign governments, multilateral institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and business partners.

Windmills generating electricity for South Africa's electric company Eskom seen near Brackenfell on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa,  Jan 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Governmental Energy Innovation Investments, Policies and Institutions in the Major Emerging Economies: Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa

Over the past decade, countries with emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa have become important global players in political and economic domains. In 2007, these six countries consumed and produced more than a third of the world's energy and emitted about 35 percent of total greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. The changing global energy landscape has important implications for energy technology innovation (ETI) nationally and internationally. However, there is limited information available about the investments and initiatives that are taking place by the national governments within these countries. This paper presents the information available on energy RD&D investments in the emerging economies. 

A passerby looks at a coal power plant chimney between two office buildings at the Central Business District in Beijing, Feb. 6, 2009. China, which is heavily dependent on coal to fuel its growing economy, rivals the U.S. in GHG emissions.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Energy Policy

Catalyzing Strategic Transformation to a Low-carbon Economy: A CCS Roadmap for China

| January 2010

China now faces the three hard truths of thirsting for more oil, relying heavily on coal, and ranking first in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Given these truths, two key questions must be addressed to develop a low-carbon economy: how to use coal in a carbon-constrained future? How to increase domestic oil supply to enhance energy security? Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) may be a technological solution that can deal with today's energy and environmental needs while enabling China to move closer to a low-carbon energy future. This paper has been developed to propose a possible CCS roadmap for China.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Breaking the Climate Impasse with China: A Global Solution

| November 2009

A "deal" is proposed in this paper, whereby all major-emitting countries, including the United States and China, agree to reduce emissions through implementation of significant, mutually agreeable, domestic emission-reduction policies. To resolve the competitiveness and equity concerns, a proposed Carbon Mitigation Fund would be created. This proposed fund is contrasted with other existing and proposed mitigation funds and finance mechanisms.