Data, Modeling and Pathways Research China

Data, Modeling and Pathways

Researchers at the China Energy Program have developed and continually refined a detailed, bottom-up China Energy End-Use Model to evaluate potential future low-emission pathways for China. Begun in 2005 in response to a growing policy focus in the Chinese government on energy efficiency, the model has been used to:

  • Perform detailed energy and emissions analyses at national, sectoral and technology levels
  • Conduct retrospective and prospective sectoral and cross-cutting policy impact evaluation
  • Evaluate demand and supply options
  • Develop medium- and long-term outlooks for low-emissions pathways

We focus on assessing future low-emissions pathways by modeling China’s future energy demand and GHG emissions, particularly as linked to both economic and physical drivers. Our research has focused on a range of policy impacts across the buildings, industrial and transport sectors. We have analyzed the environmental impacts of CO2 and SO2 co-controls, and we have developed comprehensive energy and emissions outlooks to 2030 and 2050 for China. Another area of focus has been the assessment of conventional, non-fossil, and non-conventional supply options for China and their potential contributions to future low-emissions pathways. More recently, we have started modeling other potential GHGs including methane, nitrous oxide, and F-gases, and exploring mitigation pathways for reducing energy and non-energy non-CO2 emissions.

The China Energy Program worked jointly with China’s Energy Research Institute, the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Energy Foundation on evaluating the maximum energy efficiency gains and CO2 emissions reductions China could achieve by 2050 as a key element of the Reinventing Fire: China project.

In 2020, the China Energy Program also began publishing its annual China Energy Outlook, which presents and analyzes the latest data related to China’s energy and emission trends, the most recent information on China’s key energy targets, policies and programs, and our latest outlook on China’s future pathways through 2050 using our China 2050 DREAM. 

Local impacts in cities are another focus. To this end, we've developed the Green Resources & Energy Analysis Tool (GREAT), which helps local governments explore potential energy and emission reduction opportunities and create action plans for low carbon development. Users such as energy policy analysts and researchers can customize the model to a given city or region by entering detailed data. 


Expertise Related to Assessment of and Recommendations for China's Five-Year Plans