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Contribution from Urban Heating to China’s 2020 Goal of Emission Reduction

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journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2011, 00:00 by Li Wang, Xia Chen, Lu Wang, Shufeng Sun, Lige Tong, Xianfang Yue, Shaowu Yin, Lifang Zheng
To reduce inhalable particle and SOx pollution from coal-based urban central heating (UCH), China has been vigorously developing natural gas-based UCH for years. The CO2 emissions of UCH, having an average annual growth rate of 10.3%, accounted for 4.4% of China’s total CO2 emissions in 2009. This paper analyzes the feasibility of replacing UCH with heat pump heating (HPH) in China’s climatic suitable regions and evaluates the corresponding potential for energy saving and emission reduction. Current strategy of replacing coal-based UCH with natural gas-based UCH is expected to decrease CO2 emissions by 63.5%. However, the CO2 emissions of HPH are 55.4% less than those of natural gas-based UCH. Replacing coal-based UCH with HPH is capable of decreasing CO2 emissions by 83.7% and consequently decreases the CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.2% by 2020 compared with 2005 level. This contributes about 10.5% to China’s 2020 CO2 emission reduction target. For controlling environmental pollution and protecting ecological environment better, China should adjust its strategy for CO2 emission reduction by shifting its attention from replacing coal-based UCH with natural gas-based UCH to popularizing HPH in climatic suitable regions.