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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1319
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1319
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Mar 2019

Research article | 14 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Impact of the Green Light Program on haze pollution in the North China Plain, China

Xin Long1,3,7, Xuexi Tie1,2,3,4,5, Jiamao Zhou3, Wenting Dai3, Xueke Li6, Tian Feng1, Guohui Li1,3, Junji Cao1,3, and Zhisheng An1 Xin Long et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 2Center for Excellence in Urban Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 4Shanghai Key Laboratory of Meteorology and Health, Shanghai, 200030, China
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
  • 6Department of Geography, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Mansfield, CT 06269, USA
  • 7School of Environment Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

Abstract. As the world's largest developing country, China undergoes the ever-increasing demand for electricity during the past few decades. In 1996, China launched the Green Lights Program (GLP), which becomes a national energy conservation activity for saving lighting electricity, as well as an effective reduction of the coal consumption for power generation. Despite of the great success of the GLP, its effects on haze pollution have not been investigated and well understood. This study focused to assess the potential coal-saving induced by the GLP and to estimate the consequent improvements of the haze pollutions in the North China Plain (NCP), because severe haze pollutions often occur in the NCP and a large amount of power plants locate in this region. The estimated potential coal-saving induced by the GLP can reach a massive value of 120–323 million tons, accounting for 6.7–18.0 % of the total coal consumption for thermal power generation in China. In December 2015, there was a massive potential emission reduction of air pollutants from thermal power generation in the NCP, which was estimated to be 20.0–53.8 Gg for NOx and 6.9–18.7 Gg for SO2. The potential emission reductions induced by the GLP played important roles in the haze formation, because the NOx and SO2 are important precursors for the formation of particles. To assess the impact of the GLP on haze pollution, sensitive studies were conducted by applying a regional chemical/dynamical model (WRF-CHEM). The model results suggest that in the lower limit case of emission reduction, the PM2.5 concentration decreases by 2–5 µg m−3 in large areas of the NCP. In the upper limit case of emission reduction, there was much more remarkable decrease in PM2.5 concentration (4–10 µg m−3). This study is a good example to illustrate that scientific innovation can induce important benefits on environment issues, such as haze pollution.

Xin Long et al.
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Short summary
China undergoes the ever-increasing demand for electricity, and launched the Green Lights Program (GLP), which is an effective reduction of the coal consumption for power generation. The estimated potential coal-saving induced by the GLP can reach a massive value of 120–323 million tons. There was a massive resultant potential emission reduction of air pollutants, which played important roles in the haze formation, because the NOx and SO2 are important precursors for the formation of particles.
China undergoes the ever-increasing demand for electricity, and launched the Green Lights...
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