Title: Roadmapping an emerging energy technology: an ex-ante examination of dimethyl ether development in China

Authors: Yuan Zhou; Guannan Xu; Qiang Zhi; Fang Zhang; Tim Minshall; Jun Su

Addresses: School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ' School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ' School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ' School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ' Centre for Technology Management, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK ' School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Abstract: Technology roadmapping has been used to strategise the development of energy technologies. However, there have been limited roadmapping applications that analyse the emergence of a new energy technology that then forms a new industry and propels broad-based low-carbon economic growth. This paper, therefore, attempts to develop a roadmapping framework by integrating the lifecycle analysis tool, in order to strategise the emergence of dimethyl ether, an alternative energy based on advanced engineering technologies such as carbon capture and storage. This paper compares two scenarios of dimethyl ether vs. diesel and finds that the superiority of dimethyl ether will not arise until 2030, when the complementary engineering technologies become available. This proposed framework can also be generalised to other clean energy industries, and we anticipate our paper will spark inspiration for roadmapping and strategising the 'right' technologies for the growth of Chinese energy industries.

Keywords: technology roadmapping; lifecycle analysis; LCA; emerging energy technology; dimethyl ether; carbon capture; carbon storage; catalytic distillation technology; China; new technology; alternative energy; clean energy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2012.052106

International Journal of Product Development, 2012 Vol.17 No.3/4, pp.296 - 310

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 12 Feb 2013 *

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