Efficiency of thermal power generation in China


Over the past decades, China has continuously developed as one of the leading industrial nations on the world stage, which has led to an increase in the demand for power generation. However, this rapid expansion and reliance on coal power has led to increased air pollution levels in China and impacted neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea.

To study: Total energy efficiency of thermal power industry factor in China. Image Credit: QinJin/Shutterstock.com

Now, researchers in China and Taiwan recently applied super-efficiency DDF models to assess the energy efficiency of the thermal power industry in 30 provinces and cities in China. The team also used the Total Factor Energy Efficiency (TFEE) method to analyze the efficiency of each factor in order to assess the actions needed in the near future.

With China’s rapidly rising economic growth, a large number of coal-fired power plants have been built in recent years to deal with power shortages. The research, published in the journal Durability, indicates that if CO2 emissions must be reduced, expansion of thermal power generation can no longer be considered.

At present, nearly 75% of China’s new power generation capacity comes from thermal power generation, with coal power being the most important. This has led to a decline in air quality as air pollution problems worsen in Chinese provinces and cities. As a result, China has made various commitments such as the 2013 “Coal Control Plan” and direct involvement in the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Fight against air pollution

Since 2016, the ambition of China’s green goals and government policies has been to switch from coal-fired power generation to renewable energy sources, however, three-quarters of electricity demand still depends on electricity. coal industry. While the transition to renewable energy is underway, much of it is still in the early stages of development and cannot meet China’s huge energy demands.

Although coal consumption in China is decreasing, many problems, such as unstable electricity supply, worker unemployment problem, coal prices and costs, and power generation efficiency thermal, are all a showdown on environmental protection and economic levels.

Ching-Cheng Lu, Corresponding Author and Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Soochow University, Taiwan

The objective of the study is to provide a benchmark for local governments and/or power industry managers to help achieve greater energy efficiency in thermal power generation while paving the way for a further reduction in carbon emissions.

The study applied the super-efficiency DDF and TFEE models to provide a set of measurement standards for the power industry in Chinese provinces to improve the efficiency and development of the power industry in China. “Through proper adjustment of the TFEE model, factors that affect energy efficiency can be found to improve air pollution and promote sustainable economic and environmental development,” Lu says.

Tackling air pollution directly and applying super-efficiency DDF and TFEE models under VRS could provide the Chinese government with the tools to select and use the most appropriate energy methods to reduce resource waste and reallocate the distribution of resources.

Environmental change

Although the study determined that energy efficiency was high in some areas, the distribution was uneven in terms of energy conservation and emission reduction potential. Therefore, balancing these factors could enable local and central government to diversify the energy structure by adjusting energy consumption in advance:”Improving the efficiency of thermal power generation is of great significance for environmental protection, economies of scale, and China’s green and sustainable development,“Lu said.

China is currently playing a pivotal role on the global stage on climate action and environmental change, as it embraces new green initiatives and shifts its thermal power generation and resource allocation. Therefore, it is vitally important that central and local governments work together to implement new strategies to promote green energy solutions and achieve energy efficiency goals.

Applying the models proposed in the study could help China meet its climate targets and reduce air pollution and also benefit neighbors such as Japan and South Korea by improving air quality. . The higher energy efficiency achieved through improved energy technology can enable China to implement the most appropriate resource allocation strategy.

Environmental change on this scale is not as simple as it sounds, but with the collective effort of central and local government and power industry managers and taking into account regional differences in the field of thermal power generation when formulating policies could improve energy efficiency and advance the green development of China’s renewable energy industry.

The references

Feng, Y.; Lu, C.-C. ; Lin, I.-F.; Yang, A.-C.; Lin, P.C. Total energy efficiency of thermal power industry factor in China. Sustainability 2022, 14, 504. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/1/504

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