Economy and Policy

Jing Cao, Mun S. Ho, Dale W. Jorgenson, and Chris P. Nielsen. 2019. “China’s Emissions Trading System and an ETS-Carbon Tax Hybrid.” Energy Economics, 81, Pp. 741-753. Publisher's VersionAbstract
China is introducing a national carbon emission trading system (ETS), with details yet to be finalized. The ETS is expected to cover only the major emitters but it is often argued that a more comprehensive system will achieve the emission goals at lower cost. We first examine an ETS that covers both electricity and cement sectors and consider an ambitious cap starting in 2017 that will meet the official objective to reduce the carbon-GDP intensity by 60-65% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The two ETS-covered industries are compensated with an output-based subsidy to represent the intention to give free permits to the covered enterprises. We then consider a hybrid system where the non-ETS sectors pay a carbon tax and share in the CO2 reduction burden. Our simulations indicate that hybrid systems will achieve the same CO2 goals with lower permit prices and GDP losses. We also show how auctioning of the permits improves the efficiency of the ETS and the hybrid systems. Finally, we find that these CO2 control policies are progressive in that higher incomes households bear a bigger burden.
Jing Cao, Mun Sing Ho, Yating Li, Richard G. Newell, and William A. Pizer. 2019. “Chinese residential electricity consumption estimation and forecast using micro-data.” Resource and Energy Economics, 56, Pp. 6-27. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Based on econometric estimation using data from the Chinese Urban Household Survey, we develop a preferred forecast range of 85–143 percent growth in residential per capita electricity demand over 2009–2025. Our analysis suggests that per capita income growth drives a 43% increase, with the remainder due to an unexplained time trend. Roughly one-third of the income-driven demand comes from increases in the stock of specific major appliances, particularly AC units. The other two-thirds comes from non-specific sources of income-driven growth and is based on an estimated income elasticity that falls from 0.28 to 0.11 as income rises. While the stock of refrigerators is not projected to increase, we find that they contribute nearly 20 percent of household electricity demand. Alternative plausible time trend assumptions are responsible for the wide range of 85–143 percent. Meanwhile we estimate a price elasticity of demand of −0.7. These estimates point to carbon pricing and appliance efficiency policies that could substantially reduce demand.
PNAS

中国的负碳发电

April 8, 2019

降低二氧化碳浓度、减轻大气污染

英文原文由Leah Burrows撰写。

如果想要实现《巴黎气候协定》的目标将全球气温升幅控制在前工业水平以上2摄氏度以内,那么仅仅依靠诸如风能和太阳能这种碳中和能源是远远不够的,使用负碳技术包括负碳能源来切实减少大气中的二氧化碳水平将是必不可少的。... Read more about 中国的负碳发电

2019 Mar 07

China and Asia in a Changing Climate: Natural Science for the Non-Scientist

12:15pm to 1:45pm

Location: 

CGIS South S020, Belfer Case Study Room, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA

 

 

Panelists:

  • Professor John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University; Co-Director of Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, HKS; former Science Advisor to President Barack Obama and former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Professor Peter Huybers, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Professor Elsie Sunderland, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Professor Steve Wofsy, Abbott Lawrence Rotch Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Chair: Professor Mike McElroy, Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Chair, Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment... Read more about China and Asia in a Changing Climate: Natural Science for the Non-Scientist

Lin Zhou, Jianglong Li, Yangqing Dan, Chunping Xie, Houyin Long, and Hongxun Liu. 2019. “Entering and exiting: Productivity evolution of energy supply in China.” Sustainability, 11, 983. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The continuous entry of new firms and exit of old ones might have substantial effects on productivity of energy supply. Since China is the world’s largest energy producer, productivity of energy supply in China is a significant issue, which affects sustainability. As a technical application, this paper investigates the productivity and dynamic changes of Chinese coal mining firms. We find that the total factor productivity (TFP) growth of coal supply in China is largely lagging behind the growth rate of coal production. The entry and exit of non-state-owned enterprise (non-SOE) partially provide explanation for the dynamic change of aggregate TFP. Specifically, non-state owned entrants induced by the coal price boom after 2003, which had negative effects on TFP of energy supply, while the exit of non-SOEs had positive effects. Furthermore, there is regional heterogeneity concerning the effects of entry and exit on energy supply productivity. More entrants induced by coal price boom are concentrated in non-main production region (non-MPR), while more exits are located in MPR due to the government’s enforcement. This provides explanation for the phenomena that productivity of energy supply in MPR gradually surpasses that in non-MPR. We also anticipate our paper to enhance understanding on the energy supply-side, which might further help us make informed decisions on energy planning and environmental policies.
Xiaolin Guo, Mun Sing Ho, Liangzhi You, Jing Cao, Yu Fang, Taotao Tu, and Yang Hong. 2018. “Industrial Water Pollution Discharge Taxes in China: A Multi-Sector Dynamic Analysis.” Water, 10, 12, Pp. 1742. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We explore how water pollution policy reforms in China could reduce industrial wastewater pollution with minimum adverse impact on GDP growth. We use a multi-sector dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, jointly developed by Harvard University and Tsinghua University, to examine the long-term impact of pollution taxes. A firm-level dataset of wastewater and COD discharge is compiled and aggregated to provide COD-intensities for 22 industrial sectors. We simulated the impact of 4 different sets of Pigovian taxes on the output of these industrial sectors, where the tax rate depends on the COD-output intensity. In the baseline low rate of COD tax, COD discharge is projected to rise from 36 million tons in 2018 to 48 million in 2030, while GDP grows at 6.9% per year. We find that raising the COD tax by 8 times will lower COD discharge by 1.6% by 2030, while a high 20-times tax will cut it by 4.0%. The most COD-intensive sectors—textile goods, apparel, and food products—have the biggest reduction in output and emissions. The additional tax revenue is recycled by cutting existing taxes, including taxes on profits, leading to higher investment. This shift from consumption to investment leads to a slightly higher GDP over time.
Summer RA

哈佛中国项目组织本科生暑期赴中国参与环境问题研究

September 26, 2018

A Harvard Gazette article by Al Powell

今年暑假,哈佛中国项目安排了一批哈佛本科生赴中国高校就一系列环境问题开展研究,课题包罗万象:从臭氧污染对农作物的影响,分析家户电力需求,到研究解决地下水砷污染的方法等。

此次暑期实习由哈佛中国项目和哈佛环球学院联合赞助,从六月底至八月中旬历时一个半月,共有八名学生参加,分别去了北京的清华大学和香港的香港中文大学。哈佛中国项目主席、...

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Cao

评论:其实4也可以是个幸运数字?中国人对数字4的忌讳心理居然可以用来研究北京空气污染对健康的影响

August 14, 2018

由于在真实世界里人们几乎无法通过控制数目庞大的变量来创造理想的实验条件,因此想要在社会科学领域进行对照实验几乎是不可能的。然而,在一些偶然情况下,某些政策效果却无心插柳地创造出了一个类实验情境,这种情况被称为自然实验。当北京的车辆限行政策遇上中国人对数字4不吉利寓意的忌讳心理时,自然实验的条件就产生了 — — 哈佛大学中国项目的曹静教授和她的团队抓住了这一千载难逢的机会,顺势就北京空气污染对健康的影响这一课题展开研究。他们已将研究结论整理成论文发表于 Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resources Economists (JAERE)... Read more about 评论:其实4也可以是个幸运数字?中国人对数字4的忌讳心理居然可以用来研究北京空气污染对健康的影响

Xinyu Chen, Jiajun Lv, Michael B. McElroy, Xingning Han, Chris Nielsen, and Jinyu Wen. 2018. “Power system capacity expansion under higher penetration of renewables considering flexibility constraints and low carbon policies.” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Deploying high penetration of variable renewables represents a critical pathway for deep decarbonizing the power sector. The conflict between their temporal variability and limited system flexibility has been largely ignored currently at planning stage. Here we present a novel capacity expansion model optimizing investment decisions and full-year, hourly power balances simultaneously, with considerations of storage technologies and policy constraints, such as carbon tax and renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Based on a computational efficient modeling formulation, all flexibility constrains (ramping, reserve, minimum output, minimal online/offline time) for the 8760-hour duration are incorporated. The proposed model is applied to the northwestern grid of China to examine the optimal composition and distribution of power investments with a wide range of renewable targets. Results indicate that the cost can increase moderately towards 45% of RPS, when properly designing the generation portfolio: prioritizing wind investments, distributing renewable investments more evenly and deploying more flexible mid-size coal and gas units. Reaching higher penetrations of renewables is expensive and the reductions of storage costs are critically important for an affordable low-carbon future. RPS or carbon taxes to reach a same target of emission reduction in China will result in similar overall costs but different generation mixes.
China ev

《金融时报》报道中国项目关于电动汽车充电方式对中国环境影响的最新研究

May 23, 2018

《金融时报》一篇文章详细探讨了电动汽车是否对中国环境有积极影响。文章认为,中国的能源市场目前依然由矿物燃料主导,尚未完成转型,电动汽车对环境会有哪些影响尚未有定论。文章引述了多篇相关领域的研究论文,包括中国项目最近发表于《自然·能源》期刊的一篇研究。这项研究由来自哈佛大学和清华大学的团队共同合作完成,成员包括哈佛大学中国项目主席Michael B. MCELROY教授、项目执行总监Chris P. NIELSEN先生、博士后研究员陈新宇,以及访问博士生吕家君。此外,哈佛大学Paulson工程与应用科学学院也就该项研究发布了...

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