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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Fuyu Zhao

Opportunities to Improve Local Energy System by Provincial Policies: A Case Study of Energy Structure in Liaoning Province, China

The improvement of energy structure is one of the major components in energy sector’s
development towards sustainability. There were abundant research about that on the
national level, but regional studies were limited, and even less reflected the specific
requirements for regional research. This dissertation valued specific characteristics of
the province but also integrated national development plans and context into the regional
study to improve the conclusions’ feasibility.


Liaoning province, which was once China’s industrial heartland, was utilised as a case
study in this research, because of its massive energy consumption amount, unsustainable
energy structure and potential opportunities from industrial restructuring. The provincial
energy structure from primary supply to final consumption was analysed in detail and
compared with the national one. Sankey diagrams were used to show the energy flow in
Liaoning from a systematic view. Then, potential and requirement of the future
development were explored, with an assistance of a published national high-renewable
scenario. After these, suggestions were proposed, regarding the future development’s
priorities. Policies from international lessons learnt and can potentially be used for
implementing these priorities were also suggested. The dissertation eventually concluded
with brief discussions on how provincial governments can promote sustainable
development of energy system within their power.


It is expected that the analysis, capability discussions and policy suggestions for
Liaoning’s energy development can assist relevant provincial decision makers to
effectively gain a systematic and long-term development view for Liaoning’s energy
structure. Also, the dissertation aimed to inspire future regional research on energy
structure.