Water-saving co-benefits of CO2 reduction in China's electricity sector

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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iScience, Volume 26, issue 2
Electricity sector is the largest CO2 emitter and water user in China's industrial sectors. The low-carbon transition of China's electricity sector reduces its cooling water consumption. Here we firstly quantify CO2 emission and virtual water embodied in electricity trade with Quasi-Input-Output model. Then, we analyze the impacts of energy substitution, efficiency improvement, and electricity trade on water-saving co-benefits of CO2 reduction with the differences between the baseline scenario and counterfactual scenario. Results show that the low-carbon transition contributes to water-saving in China's electricity sector. Virtual water and embodied CO2 have relatively decoupled from electricity trade since 2012. Water-saving (+10.4% yr−1) outweighed CO2 reduction (+8.4% yr−1) through energy substitution and efficiency improvement in the ‘new normal’ stage. Our work emphasizes the need to integrate water-saving co-benefits of CO2 reduction into electricity system planning and highlights the challenges to facilitate coordinated development of the electricity-water nexus in China.
Funding Information: This work is supported by the Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 21&ZD166 , 21ZDA065 ), Key Research & Development Project of Qinghai Province ( 2022-SF-173 ), National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 72174111 ), Shandong Natural Science Foundation of China ( ZR2021MG013 ), and General Project of Philosophy and Social Science Research in Jiangsu Province’s Colleges and Universities ( 2022SJYB0948 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors
Energy management, Energy policy, Natural resources
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Peng , X , Chen , H , Zhong , H , Long , R , Zhang , C , Zhao , D , Yang , G , Hong , J , Duan , C , Qi , X , Wei , P , Zhang , P & Chen , J 2023 , ' Water-saving co-benefits of CO 2 reduction in China's electricity sector ' , iScience , vol. 26 , no. 2 , 106035 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106035