Articles

100 Items

Workers shovel waste from a wheat farm into a prototype for a biomass machine

AP/Andy Wong

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Gasification of Coal and Biomass: A Net Carbon-Negative Power Source for Environment-Friendly Electricity Generation in China

    Authors:
  • Xi Lu
  • Liang Cao
  • Haikun Wang
  • Jia Xing
  • Shuxiao Wang
  • Siyi Cai
  • Bo Shen
  • Qing Yang
  • Chris P. Nielsen
  • Michael B. McElroy
| 2019

Deploying coal-bioenergy gasification systems with carbon capture and storage (CBECCS) provides a promising opportunity for China to realize its carbon mitigation and air pollution abatement goals simultaneously. The authors conducted a comprehensive assessment of CBECCS technology for China, with a focus on plant and fuel configurations (e.g., biomass ratios) and economics, as well as CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and cobenefits for air quality.

an operator inspects a photolithography tool used to manufacture these solar cells.

Daniel Derkacs/SolarJunction

Journal Article - Research Policy

Governments as Partners: The Role of Alliances in U.S. Cleantech Startup Innovation

Accelerating innovation in clean energy technologies is a policy priority for governments around the world aiming to mitigate climate change and to provide affordable energy. Most research has focused on the role of governments financing R&D and steering market demand, but there is a more limited understanding of the role of direct government interactions with startups across all sectors. The authors  propose and evaluate the value-creation mechanisms of network resources from different types of partners for startups, highlighting the unique resources of government partners for cleantech startups. 

solar panels are seen near the power grid in northwestern China

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Climate, Air Quality and Human Health Benefits of Various Solar Photovoltaic Deployment Scenarios in China in 2030

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xiaoyuan Li
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2018

Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can greatly reduce both air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel electricity generation. The Chinese government plans to greatly scale up solar PV installation between now and 2030. However, different PV development pathways will influence the range of air quality and climate benefits. Benefits depend on how much electricity generated from PV is integrated into power grids and the type of power plant displaced. Using a coal-intensive power sector projection as the base case, the authors estimate the climate, air quality, and related human health benefits of various 2030 PV deployment scenarios.

A woman wears a face mask as she looks at her smartphone while walking along a street in Beijing

AP

Journal Article - Applied Energy

Potential Co-benefits of Electrification for Air Quality, Health, and CO2 Mitigation in 2030 China

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xi Lu
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| May 15, 2018

Electrification with decarbonized electricity is a central strategy for carbon mitigation. End-use electrification can also reduce air pollutant emissions from the demand sectors, which brings public health co-benefits. In this article, the authors focus on electrification strategies for China, a country committed to both reducing air pollution and peaking carbon emissions before 2030. Considering both coal-intensive and decarbonized power system scenarios for 2030, they assess the air quality, health, and climate co-benefits of various end-use electrification scenarios for the vehicle and residential sectors relative to a non-electrified coal-intensive business-as-usual scenario.

Windmills operate at the Da Bancheng Wind Farm, Xinjiang, China

AP

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Why is China's Wind Power Generation Not Living Up to its Potential?

Following a decade of unprecedented investment, China now has the world's largest installed base of wind power capacity. Yet, despite siting most wind farms in the wind-rich Northern and Western provinces, electricity generation from Chinese wind farms has not reached the performance benchmarks of the United States and many other advanced economies. This has resulted in lower environmental, economic, and health benefits than anticipated. The authors develop a framework to explain the performance of the Chinese and US wind sectors, accounting for a comprehensive set of driving factors.

Floating desalination unit "Hydriada" powered by wind and solar energy

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Towards Sustainability in Water-energy Nexus: Ocean Energy for Seawater Desalination

In this article, the authors review the state of the art of ocean energy in desalination. It explores different sources of energy from the ocean that include electricity generation, as well as mechanical force and thermal energy and salinity gradients that can also be directly harnessed for powering the desalination processes. They also examine recent advances in scaling up for commercial deployment and discuss relevant cost, environmental, and social concerns.

Solar One power plant

NREL

Journal Article - Nature Energy

Policy Sequencing toward Decarbonization

| November 2017

Many economists have long held that carbon pricing—either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade—is the most cost-effective way to decarbonize energy systems, along with subsidies for basic research and development. Meanwhile, green innovation and industrial policies aimed at fostering low-carbon energy technologies have proliferated widely. Most of these predate direct carbon pricing. Low-carbon leaders such as California and the European Union (EU) have followed a distinct policy sequence that helps overcome some of the political challenges facing low-carbon policy by building economic interest groups in support of decarbonization and reducing the cost of technologies required for emissions reductions. However, while politically effective, this policy pathway faces significant challenges to environmental and cost effectiveness.

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Reduction of Solar Photovoltaic Resources Due to Air Pollution in China

    Authors:
  • Xiaoyuan Li
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Junnan Yang
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2017

Enormous growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation in China is planned, with a goal to provide 10 perecnt of total electricity demand by 2030. However, over much of China, aerosol pollution scatters and absorbs sunlight, significantly reducing surface solar radiation suitable for PV electricity generation. The authors evaluate the impact of aerosols on PV generation and find aerosol-related annual average reductions in eastern China to be more than 20 percent. In winter, aerosols have comparable impacts to clouds over eastern provinces. Improving air quality in China would increase efficiency of solar PV generation. As a positive feedback, increased PV efficiency and deployment would further reduce air pollutant emissions as well.