The Center for Global Sustainability is pleased to welcome Wei Ping to the CGS Forums of the Fall 2018 semester.
Wei Peng is a postdoctoral fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a fellow with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Starting January 2019, she will join the Penn State University as an assistant professor of International Affairs and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research utilizes integrated assessment methods to inform energy policy in both advanced economies and emerging markets (e.g. US, China and India) to align their decarbonization efforts with local priorities, such as air pollution, health, water and other socioeconomic concerns. Wei earned her BSc degree in Environmental Science from Peking University and PhD degree in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.
Wei Peng will be presenting on “Managing China’s coal-dominated power system for CO2, air pollution and water objectives”.
China needs to manage its coal-dominated power system to curb carbon emissions, as well as to address local environmental priorities such as air pollution and water stress. Wei Peng will discuss three 2030 scenarios that represent various electricity demand and infrastructure development pathways, and optimize coal strategies under current environmental regulations and varying prices for air pollutant emissions and water. Comparing 2030 to 2015, the study found lower CO2 emissions only in the scenarios with substantial renewable generation or low projected electricity demand. Meanwhile, in all three 2030 scenarios, they observe lower air pollution and water impacts than 2015 when current regulations and prices are imposed on coal power plants. However, increasing the price of air pollutant emissions or water alone can lead to a trade-off between these two objectives, mainly driven by differences between air-pollution and water-oriented transmission system designs which influence where coal power plants will be built and retired. Their analysis thus highlights the importance of integrating carbon, air pollution and water objectives into power sector strategies to address local and global sustainability challenges simultaneously.