China's Energy and Emissions Outlook to 2050: Perspectives from Bottom-Up Energy End-Use Model
Although China became the world's largest CO2 emitter in 2007, the country has also taken serious actions to reduce its energy and carbon intensity. This study uses the bottom-up LBNL China End-Use Energy Model to assess the role of energy efficiency policies in transitioning China to a lower emission trajectory and meeting its 2020 intensity reduction goals. Two scenarios – Continued Improvement and Accelerated Improvement – were developed to assess the impact of actions already taken by the Chinese government as well as planned and potential actions, and to evaluate the potential for China to reduce energy demand and emissions. This scenario analysis presents an important modeling approach based in the diffusion of end-use technologies and physical drivers of energy demand and thereby help illuminate China's complex and dynamic drivers of energy consumption and implications of energy efficiency policies. The findings suggest that China's CO2 emissions will not likely continue growing throughout this century because of saturation effects in appliances, residential and commercial floor area, roadways, fertilizer use; and population peak around 2030 with slowing urban population growth. The scenarios also underscore the significant role that policy-driven efficiency improvements will play in meeting 2020 carbon mitigation goals along with a decarbonized power supply.