Integrating wind into China's coal-heavy electricity system
Author(s)Davidson, Michael R.; Zhang, Da; Xiong, Weiming; Zhang, Xiliang; Karplus, Valerie Jean
Modelling the potential for wind energy integration on China’s coal-heavy electricity grid
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Expanding the use of wind energy for electricity generation forms an integral part of China's efforts to address degraded air quality and climate change. However, the integration of wind energy into China's coal-heavy electricity system presents significant challenges owing to wind's variability and the grid's system-wide inflexibilities. Here we develop a model to predict how much wind energy can be generated and integrated into China's electricity mix, and estimate a potential production of 2.6 petawatt-hours (PWh) per year in 2030. Although this represents 26% of total projected electricity demand, it is only 10% of the total estimated physical potential of wind resources in the country. Increasing the operational flexibility of China's coal fleet would allow wind to deliver nearly three-quarters of China's target of producing 20% of primary energy from non-fossil sources by 2030.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Joint Program on the Science & Policy of Global Change; Sloan School of Management
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Davidson, Michael R., et al. "Modelling the potential for wind energy integration on China’s coal-heavy electricity grid." Nature Energy, 1, 7 (2016): 16086.
Author's final manuscript