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Frontiers in Energy

ISSN 2095-1701 (Print)
ISSN 2095-1698 (Online)
Formerly Known as Frontiers of Energy and Power Engineering in China
2017 Impact Factor: 0.753

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, Volume 12 Issue 3 Previous Issue   
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EDITORIAL
Responding to the Paris Climate Agreement: global climate change mitigation efforts
Yong GENG, Tsuyoshi FUJITA, Anthony CHIU, Hancheng DAI, Han HAO
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 333-337.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0587-6
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FEATURE ARTICLE
Tackling climate change and promoting the energy revolution
Xiangwan DU
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 338-343.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0535-5
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Following the Paris Agreement, green and low-carbon development has entered into a new stage. China’s international responsibility to combat climate change is consistent with the inherent sustainable development needs of the country. In this paper, the reasonability of China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) is examined and the fact that low-carbon development can lead to modernization is demonstrated based on data analysis of energy economics from developed countries. Considering the fact that such an energy revolution forms the basis for China’s low-carbon transition, a roadmap of the China’s energy utilization is presented. Based on research results from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the three historical stages of China’s energy structure reform are analyzed. Promoting a low-carbon transition through an energy revolution is a long-term and arduous process that requires a genuine transformation of development outlook and patterns. By empirically analyzing situations at home and abroad, a conclusion is made that economic development and a low-carbon transition can be achieved simultaneously; specifically, low-carbon development fosters new points of economic growth and gives rise to different development paths.

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REVIEW ARTICLE
How diplomacy saved the COP21 Paris Climate Conference, but now, can we save ourselves?
D. Nathaniel MULCAHY, David L. MULCAHY
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 344-352.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-017-0498-y
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To solve a problem, three things are necessary: awareness, means, and will. The 2015 COP21 Paris accord was a masterful, perhaps even world-saving, diplomatic advance toward making the world aware of climate change. Some of that success may have been because publications from the IPCC and the National Academy of Science were made available, on line, as prepublication offerings, in order to be widely viewed before the Paris Climate Conference. This provided diplomats and negotiators with the latest information about climate change, its nearness in time, its consequences, and how well current mitigation technologies can succeed. Whatever the reasons, the Paris Climate Conference, was a success. Leaders of 195 nations agreed that climate change is a real and present danger to life as is known to all. This important understanding was accomplished despite the presentation of well established scientific facts which, without very diplomatic handling, could easily have evoked overwhelming political opposition to an agreement and thus another COP failure. In this paper, the fact that how some scientific truths, written specifically to be overlooked, were presented in order to prepare COP21 participants for the conference is explained. Besides, the effectiveness and efficiency of currently favored mitigation policies, the extent of ongoing progress to better ones, and finally, how a new appreciation of climate change consequences can strengthen the will of nation states and industries to work toward solutions are evaluated.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Situation and measures of China’s CO2 emission mitigation after the Paris Agreement
Jiankun HE
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 353-361.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0564-0
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Global response to climate change has entered the phase of full implementation of the Paris Agreement. To control the global temperature rise below 2°C, all countries must make more efforts to reduce emission. China has combined its goal of emission reduction for combating climate change with its domestic sustainable development strategy to promote energy revolution and the transition of economic development to low-carbon patterns. Through reinforcing the commitment and action before 2020, the CO2 intensity of GDP can decrease by more than 50% by 2020 compared with that of 2005, and the external commitment target of a 40%–45% decrease can be over fulfilled. Currently, under the new economic normal, China further strengthens the policy measure, vigorously saves energy, enhances energy use efficiency and the economic output benefit, and simultaneously develops new and renewable energy and accelerates energy structural decarbonization, so that the annual decrease rate of the CO2 intensity of GDP keeps a high level of more than 4% and remains increasing. Thus, the decrease rate of the CO2 intensity of GDP will exceed the GDP growth rate, and then CO2 emission will peak around 2030. This will promote the fundamental turning of economic development mode, and lay a foundation for the establishment of a sustainable energy system with near-zero emissions and with new and renewable energy as the main body in the second half of this century. China implements the concept of green low-carbon development and accelerates the low carbon transition of energy and economy to achieve win-win results in economic growth and CO2 emission mitigation, and these policies and actions will also provide experiences for many other developing countries. On the other hand, China will continue to play a positive and constructive leading role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement internationally, and promote the construction of new mechanisms of win-win cooperation, fairness and justice and common development for global climate governance. Moreover, China will make an effort to build a community of common destiny for mankind, promote pragmatic cooperation among countries, especially among developing countries, and take combating climate change as a new development opportunity for jointly moving toward climate-friendly low-carbon economic development path.

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Effects of the US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on the carbon emission space and cost of China and India
Hancheng DAI, Yang XIE, Haibin ZHANG, Zhongjue YU, Wentao WANG
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 362-375.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0574-y
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Climate mitigation has become a global issue and most countries have promised their greenhouse gas reduction target. However, after Trump took office as president of the United States (US), the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement. As the biggest economy, this would have impacts on the emission space of other countries. This paper, by using the integrated model of energy, environment and economy/computable general equilibrium (IMED/CGE) model, assesses the impacts of the US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on China, India in terms of carbon emission space and mitigation cost under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and 2°C scenarios due to changed emission pathway of the US. The results show that, under the condition of constant global cumulative carbon emissions and fixed burden sharing scheme among the countries, the failure of the US to honor its NDC commitment will increase its carbon emission space and decrease its mitigation cost. However, the carbon emission space of other regions, including China and India, will be reduced and their mitigation costs will be raised. In 2030, under the 2°C target, the carbon price will increase by US$14.3 to US$45.3/t in China and by US$10.7 to US$33.9/t in India. In addition, China and India will incur additional GDP loss. Under the 2°C target, the GDP loss of China would increase by US$23.3 to US$72.6 billion (equivalent to US$17.4 to US$54.2/capita), and that of India would rise by US$14.2 to US$43.1 billion (equivalent to US$9.3 to US$28.2/capita).

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Expert networks as science-policy interlocutors in the implementation of a monitoring reporting and verification (MRV) system
Remi CHANDRAN, Tsuyoshi FUJITA, Minoru FUJII, Shuichi ASHINA, Kei GOMI, Rizaldi BOER, Muhammad ARDIANSYAH, Seiya MAKI
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 376-388.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0559-x
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The Paris Agreement, which entered into effect in 2016, emphasizes a definite timeline for communicating and maintaining successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it plans to achieve in addressing climate change. This calls for the development of a measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system and a Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT). Though such actions are universally accepted by the Parties to the Paris Agreement, earlier studies have shown that there remain technological, social, political and financial constrains which will affect the development and deployment of such a system. In this paper, using a case study on MRV implementation in Bogor City in Indonesia, how the above-mentioned challenges can be overcome is outlined through a technological and policy innovation process where scientists and technologists (collectively referred as expert networks) can join hands with local governments and national policy makers in designing, development and implementation of an MRV system that meets the local, national and global requirements. Through the case study it is further observed that expert networks can act as interactive knowledge generators and policy interlocutors in bridging technology with policy. To be specific, first, a brief history of the international context of MRV and CBIT is outlined. Next, the theoretical underpinning of the study is contextualized within the existing theories related to public policy and international relations. Finally, the case study is outlined and investigated where the engagement of an expert-network and policy makers in the design, development and implementation of an MRV tool is showcased.

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Decomposing drivers of transportation energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions for the Philippines: the case of developing countries
Neil Stephen LOPEZ, Anthony S.F. CHIU, Jose Bienvenido Manuel BIONA
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 389-399.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0578-7
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Global CO2 emissions increased by 57.9% from 1990 to 2014, of which 21% is known to be from the transportation sector. In line with policy development, driving forces to energy consumption and emissions may be determined using decomposition analysis techniques. However, the detail of information required to perform such studies for the transportation sector in developing countries can be challenging. An attempt was made in this study to formulate a decomposition analysis framework considering data availability and limitation in developing countries. Furthermore, a suggestion of adjusting transport activity data using average oil price was proposed. An illustrative case study in the Philippines revealed that the most significant driver was transport activity, followed by energy intensity, and then population growth, which was both similar and contrary to all previous studies performed in developed and rapidly urbanizing countries, which pointed out to transport activity as the primary contributing force. For the Philippines, transport activity was an inhibiting force, whereas energy intensity was the primary contributing factor. The difference could be explained by the differences in mode shares and quality of life between countries. Looking at private vehicle ownership data, it is observed that growth rates are higher in the rural, than in the urban centers. Deriving from the findings, developing a comprehensive public transport plan is recommend for future growth areas, expansion and modernization of public transport services in the city, and strategic deployment of transport policies.

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Carbon footprint assessment for the waste management sector: A comparative analysis of China and Japan
Lu SUN, Zhaoling LI, Minoru FUJII, Yasuaki HIJIOKA, Tsuyoshi FUJITA
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 400-410.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0565-z
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Waste management is becoming a crucial issue in modern society owing to rapid urbanization and the increasing generation of municipal solid waste (MSW). This paper evaluates the carbon footprint of the waste management sector to identify direct and indirect carbon emissions, waste recycling carbon emission using a hybrid life cycle assessment and input-output analysis. China and Japan was selected as case study areas to highlight the effects of different industries on waste management. The results show that the life cycle carbon footprints for waste treatment are 59.01 million tons in China and 7.01 million tons in Japan. The gap between these footprints is caused by the different waste management systems and treatment processes used in the two countries. For indirect carbon footprints, China’s material carbon footprint and depreciation carbon footprint are much higher than those of Japan, whereas the purchased electricity and heat carbon footprint in China is half that of Japan. China and Japan have similar direct energy consumption carbon footprints. However, CO2 emissions from MSW treatment processes in China (46.46 million tons) is significantly higher than that in Japan (2.72 million tons). The corresponding effects of waste recycling on CO2 emission reductions are considerable, up to 181.37 million tons for China and 96.76 million tons for Japan. Besides, measures were further proposed for optimizing waste management systems in the two countries. In addition, it is argued that the advanced experience that developed countries have in waste management issues can provide scientific support for waste treatment in developing countries such as China.

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Proliferation of district heating using local energy resources through strategic building-stock management: A case study in Fukushima, Japan
Yi DOU, Keijiro OKUOKA, Minoru FUJII, Hiroki TANIKAWA, Tsuyoshi FUJITA, Takuya TOGAWA, Liang DONG
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 411-425.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0577-8
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District heating systems using cogeneration technology and renewable resources are considered as an effective approach to resources conservation and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, wide-spread aging and depopulation problems, as well as the popularization of energy-saving technologies in buildings, are estimated to greatly decrease energy consumption, leading to inefficiency in district heating and barriers to technology proliferation. From a long-term perspective, land use changes, especially the progression of compact city plans, have the potential to offset the decrement in energy consumption that maintains the efficiency of district heating systems. An integrated model is developed in this paper based on building cohort analysis to evaluate the economic feasibility and environmental impact of introducing district heating systems to a long-term compact city plan. As applied to a case in the Soma Region of Fukushima, Japan, potential migration from the suburbs to the central station districts is simulated, where district heating based on gas-fired cogeneration is expected to be introduced. The results indicate that guided migration to produce concentrated centers of population can substantially increase the heat demand density, which supports a wider application of district heating systems and better low-carbon performance. These results are further discussed in relation to technology innovation and related policies. It is concluded that policies related to urban land use planning and energy management should be integrated and quantitatively evaluated over the long-term with the aim of supporting urban low-carbon sustainable development.

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Employing electricity-consumption monitoring systems and integrative time-series analysis models: A case study in Bogor, Indonesia
Seiya MAKI, Shuichi ASHINA, Minoru FUJII, Tsuyoshi FUJITA, Norio YABE, Kenji UCHIDA, Gito GINTING, Rizaldi BOER, Remi CHANDRAN
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 426-439.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0560-4
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The Paris Agreement calls for maintaining a global temperature less than 2°C above the pre-industrial level and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. To realize this objective and promote a low-carbon society, and because energy production and use is the largest source of global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, it is important to efficiently manage energy demand and supply systems. This, in turn, requires theoretical and practical research and innovation in smart energy monitoring technologies, the identification of appropriate methods for detailed time-series analysis, and the application of these technologies at urban and national scales. Further, because developing countries contribute increasing shares of domestic energy consumption, it is important to consider the application of such innovations in these areas. Motivated by the mandates set out in global agreements on climate change and low-carbon societies, this paper focuses on the development of a smart energy monitoring system (SEMS) and its deployment in households and public and commercial sectors in Bogor, Indonesia. An electricity demand prediction model is developed for each device using the Auto-Regression eXogenous model. The real-time SEMS data and time-series clustering to explore similarities in electricity consumption patterns between monitored units, such as residential, public, and commercial buildings, in Bogor is, then, used. These clusters are evaluated using peak demand and Ramadan term characteristics. The resulting energy-prediction models can be used for low-carbon planning.

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Target-oriented robust optimization of a microgrid system investment model
Lanz UY, Patric UY, Jhoenson SIY, Anthony Shun Fung CHIU, Charlle SY
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 440-455.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0563-1
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An emerging alternative solution to address energy shortage is the construction of a microgrid system. This paper develops a mixed-integer linear programming microgrid investment model considering multi-period and multi-objective investment setups. It further investigates the effects of uncertain demand by using a target-oriented robust optimization (TORO) approach. The model was validated and analyzed by subjecting it in different scenarios. As a result, it is seen that there are four factors that affect the decision of the model: cost, budget, carbon emissions, and useful life. Since the objective of the model is to maximize the net present value (NPV) of the system, the model would choose to prioritize the least cost among the different distribution energy resources (DER). The effects of load uncertainty was observed through the use of Monte Carlo simulation. As a result, the deterministic model shows a solution that might be too optimistic and might not be achievable in real life situations. Through the application of TORO, a profile of solutions is generated to serve as a guide to the investors in their decisions considering uncertain demand. The results show that pessimistic investors would have lower NPV targets since they would invest more in storage facilities, incurring more electricity stock out costs. On the contrary, an optimistic investor would tend to be aggressive in buying electricity generating equipment to meet most of the demand, however risking more storage stock out costs.

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Individual environmental behavior: A key role in building low-carbon communities in China
Ping JIANG, Hongjia DONG, Yun ZHU, Adila ALIMUJIANG, Zhenhua ZHANG, Weichun MA
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 456-465.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0566-y
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People’s social behavior, especially environmental behavior, has a great impact on energy consumption and carbon emission. This paper explores both categories of individual factors (e.g., values, habits, education, motivation, etc.) and social factors (e.g., institution, infrastructure, encouragement, etc.), to clarify the correlation between them and their sub-factors. Low-carbon campus is a representative type of low-carbon community which is less difficult to build than other communities because university students are well-educated and, to some extent, are more environmental aware and more willing to change their behaviors. The energy-saving and environment-friendly policies implemented on campus are collected and overviewed in this paper. Additionally, the leaders and employees from the related administration departments are interviewed, and the data of electricity amount and water usage are analyzed and a well-designed questionnaire is handed out in a survey. The survey investigates the environmental knowledge, energy use habits, attitude toward low-carbon transformation, comments on the current institution and so on. The results show that different groups of students have varied levels of environmental knowledge, energy use habits, and attitude toward low-carbon campus management. To improve energy conservation and cut carbon emission radically, advices on building low-carbon community are also proposed including professional curriculums of environmental protection, economic initiatives, effect management, good communications, and sound infrastructures and facilities.

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Abating transport GHG emissions by hydrogen fuel cell vehicles: Chances for the developing world
Han HAO, Zhexuan MU, Zongwei LIU, Fuquan ZHAO
Front. Energy. 2018, 12 (3): 466-480.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-018-0561-3
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Fuel cell vehicles, as the most promising clean vehicle technology for the future, represent the major chances for the developing world to avoid high-carbon lock-in in the transportation sector. In this paper, by taking China as an example, the unique advantages for China to deploy fuel cell vehicles are reviewed. Subsequently, this paper analyzes the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 19 fuel cell vehicle utilization pathways by using the life cycle assessment approach. The results show that with the current grid mix in China, hydrogen from water electrolysis has the highest GHG emissions, at 3.10 kgCO2/km, while by-product hydrogen from the chlor-alkali industry has the lowest level, at 0.08 kgCO2/km. Regarding hydrogen storage and transportation, a combination of gas-hydrogen road transportation and single compression in the refueling station has the lowest GHG emissions. Regarding vehicle operation, GHG emissions from indirect methanol fuel cell are proved to be lower than those from direct hydrogen fuel cells. It is recommended that although fuel cell vehicles are promising for the developing world in reducing GHG emissions, the vehicle technology and hydrogen production issues should be well addressed to ensure the life-cycle low-carbon performance.

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