Weidong Chen1, Haixian Li This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2, Yun Zhu1, Jicheng Jang1, Che-Jen Lin3, Pen-Chi Chiang4,5, Shuxiao Wang6, Jia Xing6, Tingting Fang1, Jie Li1, Qingshan Yang1, Kaiming Zheng1

1 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, College of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
2 Shunde Branch of Foshan Ecological Environment Bureau, Foshan 528000, China
3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA
4 Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, Taiwan University, Taipei 10673, Taiwan
5 Carbon Cycle Research Center, Taiwan University, Taipei 10672, Taiwan
6 State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received: February 11, 2022
Revised: April 26, 2022
Accepted: May 1, 2022

 Copyright The Author's institutions. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited. 

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220071  

Cite this article:

Chen, W., Li, H., Zhu, Y., Jang, J., Lin, C.J., Chiang, P.C., Wang, S., Xing, J., Fang, T., Li, J., Yang, Q., Zheng, K. (2022). Impact Assessment of Energy Transition Policy on Air Quality over a Typical District of the Pearl River Delta Region, China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 220071. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220071


  • The impact of energy transition on air quality was assessed in a district of China.
  • The fourth nested domain modeling results were fused with on-line monitor data.
  • The stringent energy transition policy helps reach the goal of CO2 emissions peaking.
  • Shunde’s air quality will meet Grade II standards under the most stringent policy.


Energy transition policies have been proposed for the two imperative tasks of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions peaking and air pollution control in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region in China. This study assesses the impact of the policies on CO2 emissions mitigation and air quality improvements and provides recommendations for policy implementation. Using Shunde District as a case study, we developed the emission inventories of CO2 and air pollutants, projected the trend of CO2 emissions, and estimated the air quality under three energy transition scenarios using the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) model and the Weather Research and Forecasting-Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling (WRF-CMAQ) system. The emission inventory revealed that the power, transportation and industry sources were three key sectors of CO2 and energy-related air pollutant emissions, with a combined contribution of more than 90%. The simulation results of energy transition policy demonstrated that CO2 emissions in Shunde would be unable to peak under the current “business as usual” (BAU) policy, while it could peak at 21.58 million tons (Mt) and 21.18 Mt under the energy transition (ET) and the enhanced energy transition (EET) policies, respectively. The concentrations of all index pollutants could meet the Grade II national standards for air quality in 2025, and the Comprehensive Air Quality Index (CAQI) in 2030 could also significantly decrease by 27.0% relative to the 2019 base year under the most stringent energy transition policies. Our study suggests that the local government should consider taking the power, transportation and industry sources as the priority sectors and implementing a stricter energy transition policy as soon as possible in Shunde District of the PRD region in China.

Keywords: Energy transition policy, CO2 emissions peaking, Air quality, LEAP model, WRF-CMAQ model

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