China's Coal-to-Gas Policy for Residential Heating: Between the Shadow and the Light


Thursday, February 20, 2020, 3:30pm to 4:45pm


Pierce 100F, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge

A Harvard-China Project Research Seminar with Xi Yang, Visiting Scholar, Harvard-China Project; Associate Professor, China University of Petroleum Beijing.

Abstract: Under the pressure of improving its environmental governance, China has strengthened its coal substitution policy known as “coal-to-gas” in residential heating in Northern region. This bold policy sets strict gas replacement targets for “26 + 2” key cities. However, China suffered from severe gas shortages in the 2017-2018 winter, which aroused widespread concern. Maintaining the natural gas balance became thus a challenging task for China, especially with the policy extended nationwide. Also, the contribution of gas substitution to air quality improvement remains uncertain. In the context of the Paris Agreement, the feasibility of China’s gas substitution policy is vital not only for the accomplishment of its NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), but also to global decarbonization. Based on scenario analysis with the bottom-up MAPLE (China Multi-pollutant Abatement Planning and Long-term benefit Evaluation) model, this talk will address current debates and discuss the potential impact of the coal-to-gas policy.

Xi Yang, a research scholar in the Harvard-China Project, is an associate professor at the China University of Petroleum. She earned degrees from Tsinghua University and Mines ParisTech. Her work contributed to the World Bank China energy model project, DDPP project, and Europe Commission Horizontal 2020 Project. Her research focuses on energy system modeling, technology trade-offs and co-benefits of deep decarbonization.

Sponsored by China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.