An Asian Dilemma

23-01-2002 | Publication

The research question dealt with in this report is: What are the feasible policy and technology options to modernise the electricity sector in China and India taking into account the supply and demand for electricity and given the conflict between the need for economic growth and the need to anticipate future developments in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions?

The project essentially integrates three methodological approaches, a scenario approach, a bottom-up technology approach and an institutional cum stakeholder approach. Following an initial appraisal of the 'business-as-usual' scenario for the electricity sector for both countries, a range of policy and technology options was identified, as well as their potential and technical, economic and political feasibility.

These options were combined and compared to the business-as-usual scenario to develop emission reduction scenarios for China and India and were tested with stakeholders to identify their feasibility and to assess the potential of using instruments at national and international level to facilitate their implementation. Although some measures have a high technical potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in both countries, these are not seen as particularly feasible by the stakeholders. For example end use efficiency has a very high technical emission to reduce emissions but is not given much priority in China and India (especially in the small-scale sector). Efficiency improvement in power plants and in transmission and distribution can also yield results in terms of emission reductions but are not seen as important in China. The report discusses the barriers and opportunities in relation to the various options.