Assessing ‘Green Energy Economy’ policies for transforming the building stock in Shanghai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The 2008–2009 global financial crisis triggered ‘Green Energy Economy’ (GEE) policy packages to stimulate green growth in many countries. China soon became a leader and, supported by its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006–2010), devoted approximately one-third of its US$ 647 billion stimulus package to green energy technologies. Since then, numerous policy instruments have been implemented to encourage ‘Green Buildings’. We take the Chinese city of Shanghai as a case study as it has the largest population, urbanization ratio and GDP in China and evaluate the performance of GEE policies targeted at the multi-household building sector. We use a bottom-up modelling tool to quantitatively estimate alternative baselines and assess different policy scenarios for the period 2010–2050. We measure the performance of policies in relation to energy use, efficiency improvements, CO2 emissions and net direct economic impacts. Our results suggest that current GEE policies are insufficient to stimulate radical change in the building sector. When unambitious policy measures are implemented in isolation, they provide marginal improvements compared to current building codes. The retrofitting of existing buildings is both a significant policy challenge, and offers fertile ground for improvements. Our results show that ambitious, technology-oriented financial incentives for both new and existing buildings, including energy price reform and a CO2 tax offer the right mix of incentives for green building transformation. When the social costs of climate change are taken into account, an integrated policy mix also delivers the highest net economic benefits. We conclude that policies must be more ambitious and include an integrated mix of instruments in order to drive a low-carbon transformation of both new and existing buildings in Shanghai. Finally, the theoretical impacts and potential benefits of GEE policy instruments must not underestimate the challenges associated with their design, implementation and enforcement.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Building stock, Global financial crisis, Green energy economy, Policy evaluation, Shanghai, Economy recovery packages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
PublisherInternational Association for Energy Economics
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Event4th International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Asian Conference - Beijing, China,
Duration: 2014 Sep 192014 Sep 21


Conference4th International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Asian Conference

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