Costs and health benefits of the rural energy transition to carbon neutrality in China

Ma, T., Zhang, S., Xiao, Y., Liu, X., Wang, M., Wu, K., Shen, G., Huang, C., et al. (2023). Costs and health benefits of the rural energy transition to carbon neutrality in China. Nature Communications 14 (1) 10.1038/s41467-023-41707-7.

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The rural energy transition is critical in China’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and improve air quality. However, the costs and health benefits associated with the transition to carbon neutrality remain unclear. Here we explore the cost-effective transition pathways and air quality-related health impacts using an integrated energy-air quality-health modeling framework. We find that decarbonizing rural cooking and heating would triple contemporary energy consumption from 2014 to 2060, considerably reducing energy poverty nationwide. By 2060, electric cooking ranges and air-to-air heat pumps should be widely integrated, costing an additional 13 billion USD nationally in transformation costs, with ~40% concentrated in Shandong, Heilongjiang, Shanxi and Hebei provinces. Rural residential decarbonization would remarkably improve air quality in northern China, yielding substantial health co-benefits. Notably, monetized health benefits in most provinces are projected to offset transformation costs, except for certain relatively lower-development southwestern provinces, implying more financial support for rural residents in these areas will be needed.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2023 07:46
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 07:52

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