High-resolution inventory of technologies, activities, and emissions of coal-fired power plants in China from 1990 to 2010
- 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
- 2Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
- 3Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Abstract. This paper, which focuses on emissions from China's coal-fired power plants during 1990–2010, is the second in a series of papers that aims to develop a high-resolution emission inventory for China. This is the first time that emissions from China's coal-fired power plants were estimated at unit level for a 20-year period. This inventory is constructed from a unit-based database compiled in this study, named the China coal-fired Power plant Emissions Database (CPED), which includes detailed information on the technologies, activity data, operation situation, emission factors, and locations of individual units and supplements with aggregated data where unit-based information is not available. Between 1990 and 2010, compared to a 479 % growth in coal consumption, emissions from China's coal-fired power plants increased by 56, 335, and 442 % for SO2, NOx, and CO2, respectively, and decreased by 23 and 27 % for PM2.5 and PM10 respectively. Driven by the accelerated economic growth, large power plants were constructed throughout the country after 2000, resulting in a dramatic growth in emissions. The growth trend of emissions has been effectively curbed since 2005 due to strengthened emission control measures including the installation of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems and the optimization of the generation fleet mix by promoting large units and decommissioning small ones. Compared to previous emission inventories, CPED significantly improved the spatial resolution and temporal profile of the power plant emission inventory in China by extensive use of underlying data at unit level. The new inventory developed in this study will enable a close examination of temporal and spatial variations of power plant emissions in China and will help to improve the performances of chemical transport models by providing more accurate emission data.