The effects of blue energy on future emissions of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric pollutants in China

X. Gao, C. Kroeze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Blue energy is the electricity generated from salinity gradients in rivers. About half of the global electricity demand could be satisfied if the technical potential was implemented. However, the technique is not yet implemented in full-scale operational plants. We estimate the potential effects of blue energy on future emissions of CO2, non-CO2 greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) and other atmospheric pollutants in China, assuming it would replace coal in electricity and heat production. We focus on emissions from 16 major river basins in China, considering the theoretical, technical blue energy potentials and the practical feasibilities in 2000, 2030 and 2050. We show that blue energy is a promising future renewable energy source in China. It is a clean energy source with a potentially large contribution to the local electricity market. In the Changjiang basin, it could potentially meet more than 40% of the current local electricity demand. Optimistic assumptions on the implementation indicate a slowdown of the increase in future greenhouse gas emissions by about 10%. We argue that blue energy is a promising future renewable energy source in China, which may have positive effect on the global and local environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
JournalJournal of integrative Environmental Sciences
Volume9
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • reverse electrodialysis
  • salinity gradients
  • power
  • waters
  • so2

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