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This paper presents a simplified model predictive control (MPC) method for a shunt active power filter. The difference equation is accepted as predictive model, feedback correction and dynamic optimization in conventional MPC are reserved, and the optimal control law is deduced. A comparison between predictive current control and the proposed controller is made; a conclusion that predictive current control with supply voltage observer is only a special case of MPC is drawn. A larger modeling error allowance of connection reactor than predictive current control is obtained by modifying the MPC parameters, the controller has high robustness and the band-pass filter used in predictive current control and conventional MPC is omitted. The relations between the MPC parameters and supply current's total harmonic distortion as well as tracking error are analyzed through simulations; the simulation results also verify the validity of the proposed method.