Pathways of clean energy heating electrification programs for reducing carbon emissions in Northwest China
Clean energy heating electrification programs provide a promising way to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and consumption. This work studies the cost competitiveness of clean energy heating technologies under three dynamic mechanisms: investment costs, subsidy policies, and operating costs with real data. It provides key insights into the cost competitiveness of the different heating technologies deployed in different areas, as well as their sensitivity to the three dynamic mechanisms. The results show that currently, the distinct heating programs are more cost-efficient in the urban area with existing heating networks. The average payback period of all district clean energy heating programs in the urban area is 14.9 years, while that of the individual clean heating programs is 24.7 years. The individual heating programs are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with the incentive mechanisms, especially the electricity pricing mechanisms. Moreover, individual heating technologies present remarkable advantages on flexibility and sustainability in the long run. According to the technology diffusion model proposed in this paper, the individual clean heating programs will occupy more than 50% of the market share in 2050 under the comprehensive effect of CAPEX, government subsidies, and OPEX. The real-world results and analysis render references to shape the pathway of clean energy heating electrification in Northwest China and other regions with a similar situation.