Chen, Xu; Li, Zhongshu; Gallagher, Kevin P.; Mauzerall, Denise L.
Power sector decarbonization requires a fundamental redirection of global finance from fossil fuel infrastructure towards low carbon technologies. Bilateral finance plays an important role in the global energy transition to non-fossil energy, but an understanding of its impact is limited. Here, for the first time, we compare the influence of overseas finance from the three largest economies – United States, China, and Japan – on power generation development beyond their borders and evaluate the associated long-term CO2 emissions. We construct a new dataset of Japanese and U.S. overseas power generation finance between 2000-2018 by analyzing their national development finance institutions’ press releases and annual reports and tracking their foreign direct investment at the power plant level. Synthesizing this new data with previously developed datasets for China, we find that the three countries’ overseas financing concentrated in fossil fuel power technologies over the studied period. Financing commitments from China, Japan, and the United States facilitated 101 GW, 95 GW, and 47 GW overseas power capacity additions, respectively. The majority of facilitated capacity additions are fossil fuel plants (64% for China, 87% for Japan, and 66% for the United States). Each of the countries’ contributions to non-hydro renewable generation was less than 15% of their facilitated capacity additions. Together, we estimate that overseas fossil fuel power financing through 2018 from these three countries will lock in 24 Gt CO2 emissions by 2060. If climate targets are to be met, replacing bilateral fossil fuel financing with financing of renewable technologies is crucial.
China is the world's largest carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. About one million deaths in China were attributable to air pollution in 2017. Alternative energy vehicles (AEVs), e.g. electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and natural gas vehicles, can help achieve both carbon emission mitigation and air quality improvement. However, climate, air quality and health co-benefit of AEVs powered by deeply decarbonized electricity generation remain poorly quantified. Here, we conduct a quantitative integrated assessment of the air quality, health, carbon emission mitigation and economic benefits of AEV deployment as the electricity grid decarbonizes in China. We find population-weighted annual PM2.5 and summer O3 concentration can decrease as large as 5.7μgm−3 and 4.9ppb. Annual avoided premature mortalities and years of life lost resulting from improved ambient air pollution can be as large as ~329,000 persons and ~1,611,000 years. We thus show that maximizing climate, air quality and health benefits of AEV deployment in China requires rapid decarbonization of the power system.
The dataset is a compilation of real time ground observations of criteria pollutants monitored at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) continuous stations in India, from 2015-2019. Pollutants included are PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2 and O3 and are archived at every hour for all stations across India.