A spatial analysis of China's coal flow
- 经济学院－已发表论文 
The characteristics of China's energy structure and the distribution of its coal resources make coal transportation a very important component of the energy system; moreover, coal transportation acts as a bottleneck for the Chinese economy. To insure the security of the coal supply, China has begun to build regional strategic coal reserves at some locations, but transportation is still the fundamental way to guaranty supply security. Here, we study China's coal transportation quantitatively with a linear programming method that analyses the direction and volume of China's coal flows with the prerequisite that each province's supply and demand balance is guaranteed. First, we analyse the optimal coal transportation for the status quo coal supply and demand given the bottleneck effects that the Daqin Railway has on China's coal flow; second, we analyse the influence of future shifts in the coal supply zone in the future, finding that China's coal flows will also change, which will pressure China to construct railways and ports; and finally, we analyse the possibility of exploiting Yangtze River capacity for coal transportation. We conclude the paper with suggestions for enhancing China's coal transportation security. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.