This paper, which focuses on emissions from China's coal-fired power plants during 1990–2010, is the second in a series of papers that aims to develop high-resolution emission inventory for China. This is the first time that emissions from China's coal-fired power plants were estimated at unit level for a 20 year period. This inventory is constructed from a unit-based database compiled in this study, named the China coal-fired Power plant Emissions Database (CPED), which includes detailed information on the technologies, activity data, operation situation, emission factors, and locations of individual units and supplements with aggregated data where unit-based information is not available. Between 1990 and 2010, compared to a 479 % growth in coal consumption, emissions from China's coal-fired power plants increased by 56, 335 and 442 % for SO2, NOx and CO2, respectively, and decreased by 23 % for PM2.5. Driven by the accelerated economy growth, large power plants were constructed throughout the country after 2000, resulting in dramatic growth in emissions. Growth trend of emissions has been effective curbed since 2005 due to strengthened emission control measures including the installation of flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) systems and the optimization of the generation fleet mix by promoting large units and decommissioning small ones. Compared to previous emission inventories, CPED significantly improved the spatial resolution and temporal profile of power plant emission inventory in China by extensive use of underlying data at unit level. The new inventory developed in this study will enable a close examination for temporal and spatial variations of power plant emissions in China and will help to improve the performances of chemical transport models by providing more accurate emission data.
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