Zhongshu Li

STEP Ph.D. 2020

I am a PhD student in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and work with Professor Denise Mauzerall.  My academic passion is driven by one of the most difficult tasks we are facing in this century, which is to stabilize our climate while providing adequate energy to the vast developing population.

Electricity plus China is the key to my interest. On the one hand, electricity, as the backbone of economic prosperity, has been successfully fueling China with double-digit growth. On the other hand, the inertia of China's coal-dominant power sector has created a huge gap between today and our climate pledge by the end of the century.

Before providing solid policy suggestions on how to tackle the climate challenge, my current research focuses on quantification. Domestically in China, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), out of many other promising clean energy technologies, is an indispensable technology choice to substantially decarbonize China’s power sector. As part of my research, I am estimating the cost curve of carbon & capture and storage in China’s power sector from a plant-level perspective. Globally, I am building a database to map out the landscape of China’s overseas investment in the electric power sector, including bank loans, green field investment, mergers and acquisitions. 

Given the proliferation of accessible data and computing capacity, I am also broadly interested in comparing and assimilating datasets from different disciplines to answer energy and environmental questions.

I was born in Hunan and grew up in Beijing, China. Prior to Princeton, I received a BS from Peking University in environmental science with a second major in economics.

Selected Publications

China’s global power: Estimating Chinese foreign direct investment in the electric power sector. Li, Zhongshu, Kevin P. Gallagher, and Denise L. Mauzerall. Energy Policy 136 (2020): 1-9.

A potential large and persistent black carbon forcing over Northern Pacific inferred from satellite observations Zhongshu Li, Junfeng Liu, Denise L. Mauzerall, Xiaoyuan Li, Songmiao Fan, Larry W. Horowitz, Cenlin He, Kan Yi & Shu Tao, Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 43429 (2017) doi:10.1038/srep43429

Solar Gardens in the Garden State: Community Solar Recommendations for New Jersey
Vivian Chang, Cara Goldenberg, Jack Hoskins, Stephen Lassiter, Zhongshu Li, Eri Nakatani, Sheree Oluwafemi, Hannah Safford