US institutional pathways to clean coal and shale gas: lessons for China

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) envisages that shale gas and coal will be central to its energy future. However, for China to meet the energy security and climate change objectives set out in its 12th Five-Year Plan it will be reliant on the widespread commercial deployment of two key technologies; hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling for shale gas, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal. China is moving to acquire these technologies through technology transfer and diffusion from the US, but progress has been slow, and neither is currently available in China on a commercial scale. Drawing on interviews in the US and China, this article argues that China's expectation of technology from the US may well be disappointed because of factors unique to the US institutional environment that have made the development of fracking technology possible and hinder the development of CCS technology at a commercial scale. Policy relevance If China is to meet the energy security and climate change objectives set out in its 12th Five-Year Plan it will be reliant on the widespread commercial deployment of fracking and clean coal technologies. While China expects to acquire these technologies via technology transfer and diffusion from the US, progress has been slow. Because of factors unique to the US institutional environment the availability of both technologies on a commercial scale in China is unlikely in the coming years. As a result, Chinese policy makers would be well-advised not to count on these technologies to meet their energy and climate goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)246-260
    JournalClimate Policy
    Volume17
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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