Consistent with the Chinese cement industry’s large production volume, total CO2 emissions from the industry are very high, as are associated air pollutant emissions, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). These emissions cause significant regional and global environmental problems. The cement industry is the largest source of PM emissions in China, accounting for 40 percent of PM emissions from all industrial sources and 27 percent of total national PM emissions (Lei et al. 2011).
In addition to setting emissions standard and adoption of end-of-pipe emissions control technologies, Chinese government policies also focus on reducing energy use, which, in turn, helps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Other important co-benefits of energy-efficiency policies and programs are reduced harm to human health through reduction in air pollutant emissions, reduced corrosion, and reduction in crop losses caused by surface ozone and regional haze.
In early 2017, my colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and I published a study in which we analyzed and projected the total particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from the Chinese cement and steel industry during 2010-2050 under three different scenarios. We used the bottom-up emissions control technologies data to make the emissions projections. The three distinct scenarios developed were as follow:
- Base Case Scenario: a baseline scenario that assumes that only policies in place in 2010 continue to have effect, and autonomous technological improvement (including efficiency improvement and fuel switching) occurs. The end-of-pipe emissions control technologies shares and penetration remain at 2010 level through the study period up to 2050.
- Advanced scenario: China meets its energy needs and improves its energy security and environmental quality by deploying the maximum feasible share of currently cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable supply technologies by 2050. The end-of-pipe emissions control technologies share and penetration remain at 2010 level through the study period up to 2050.
- Advanced scenario with Improved End-of-Pipe (EOP) Emissions Control (Advanced EOP): Similar to Advanced scenario explained above with the only difference being the end-of-pipe emissions control technologies share and penetration rate improves through the study period up to 2050.
In all three scenarios, only technologies that are commercialized or piloted at scale are considered. Following figures show the result of our analyses.