Prioritizing low-carbon energy sources to enhance China's energy security

Jingzheng Ren, Benjamin K. Sovacool

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how low-carbon systems compare to each other in terms of their net effect on Chinese energy security, and how they ought to be ranked and strategized into an optimal and integrated resource plan. The paper utilizes Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to first determine the relative performances of hydroelectricity, wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, and nuclear power with respect to the energy security dimensions of availability, affordability, accessibility, and acceptability. Both qualitative and quantitative metrics are considered. It relies on AHP to calculate the relative weights of the qualitative metrics attached to these dimensions of energy security for each of our five low carbon energy sources. Then, energy security performance is determined by aggregating multiple, weighted metrics into a generic index based on the method of TOPSIS and then tweaked with a sensitivity analysis. Finally, an integrated method has been developed to rank the low-carbon energy systems from most to least important, with major implications for Chinese decision-makers and stakeholders. We conclude that hydroelectricity and wind power are the two low-carbon energy sources with the most potential to enhance China's energy security. By contrast, nuclear and solar power have the least potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytic
  • Chinese energy policy
  • Decision-Making
  • Hierarchy
  • Multi-Criteria
  • Process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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