Solar power could stop China’s Belt and Road Initiative from unleashing huge carbon emissions

Kathryn Grace Logan, Shi Chen, Xi Lu

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


China has invested US$90 billion in the countries involved in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2013. The BRI involves developing infrastructure in 126 partner countries to boost trade within a region stretching from Indonesia to Western Europe via the Middle East and East Africa, inspired by the historical Silk Road.

While this economic development could help raise living standards in participating countries, it could also come with a huge potential increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But our research demonstrates the region has huge potential for generating solar power. This could decouple economic growth from increasing carbon emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Kathryn G Logan received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council through the UK Energy Research Centre's ADVENT project. Funding was also received from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, the Santander Mobility Award and the Energy Technology Partnership Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Grant.

Shi Chen has received funding from the National Key R&D Program (2016YFC0208901), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71690244 and 71722003) and Volvo Group in a research project of the Research Center for Green Economy and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University, and a grant from the Harvard Global Institute to the Harvard-China Project titled “China 2030/2050: Energy and Environmental Challenges for the Future”.

Xi Lu is a tenured associate professor at Tsinghua University. He received the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars in 2017.


  • Solar power
  • China
  • Solar
  • Infrastructure
  • Asia
  • Decarbonisation
  • One Belt One Road
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • China Belt Road Initiative
  • Global perspectives


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