Developing effective CO2 and SO2 mitigation strategy based on marginal abatement costs of coal-fired power plants in China

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This study proposes a novel analysis framework to investigate the CO2 and SO2 emission efficiency, emission reduction potential, and marginal abatement cost (MAC) of 316 coal-fired power plants in China. The comprehensive analysis framework is based on the combined approach of utilizing the directional output distance function (DODF) and parametric linear programming (PLP). The average emission efficiencies of CO2 and SO2 were 0.48 and 0.61, respectively, which indicates that China's coal-fired power plants have a large potential to reduce CO2 and SO2 emissions, on average by 52% and 39%, respectively. In 2010, the average CO2 and SO2 emissions reduction potential for the 316 investigated power plants were 1,517 kt and 3,773 t, respectively. The average MAC prices for CO2 and SO2 were estimated to be 598 yuan/tonne and 22,401 yuan/tonne, respectively, indicating that the reduction of such emissions is very expensive. Furthermore, I formulated an optimization problem for maximizing CO2 and SO2 emission reductions under the governmental budget constraint. Solving this optimization problem yielded the total cost for the maximum reductions of CO2 and SO2 emissions, the maximum possible reductions for CO2 and SO2 emissions for each allocated budget scale, and the optimal budget allocation for each power plant at a given budget scale. I finally suggest effective mitigation strategies for CO2 and SO2 emissions generated from China's coal-fired power plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116978
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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