Authors: Yiming Li, Changqing Li
Many energy consuming countries have carried out research, development, demonstration, planning and deployment of coal-to-liquids (CTL) because of its ability to replace oil imports by converting coal resources into fuel. Among them, China and South Africa successfully had their CTL technology industrialized, while the United States did not. To understand the differences in the industrial development level, a comparative study is necessary. This paper compares the history, driver and policy of CTL industry in China, South Africa and United States, collates and discloses numbers of industry details for the first time. We figure out that the motivation, top level planning and policy consistency are the key indicators of the difference on the industrial development level. Among them, the key to the success of CTL industrialization in China and South Africa is the government’s strong and stable determination to improve energy security, which provides a stable top-level planning and robust policy support. The failure of CTL in United States is caused by the shift of policy attention after its energy security situation improved.
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