Meeting electricity demand often requires irreversible investments in expensive and long-term infrastructure that takes years to design and implement, and which acts as a constraint on future choices. Therefore, the decisions made today about China’s electric power system will have profound and long-lasting implications not only for the economic and social well-being of the Chinese residents but will also affect the affordability and availability of energy resources worldwide, and the state of our natural environment.

However, planning decisions about China’s electricity system towards energy transition are difficult to make. Various energy resources and technological options such as fossil-fuel energy with Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), nuclear, hydro, and emerging energy resources (solar, wind, and energy storage) with different economic-social-environmental implications, coupled with uncertainties about their future cost and performance attribute to ongoing rapid technological changes, make power capacity planning a very challenging task. Also, uncertainties about future electricity demand, compounded with the key demand-side alternatives such as end-use energy efficiency (EE) and demand-side management (DSM), all add additional complexity to this system.

We seek to increase understanding and develop solutions along three major pathways:

  • Characterize possible futures for China’s electricity demand at a high temporal and spatial resolution
  • Devise effective strategies for emerging energy transition by developing long-term Integrated Resource Planning Modeling Framework
  • Assess major energy and environmental policies and practices