Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering in China

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 585–596

Quantification of energy related industrial eco-efficiency of China

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11783-010-0289-8

Cite this article as:
Mao, J., Du, Y., Xu, L. et al. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng. China (2011) 5: 585. doi:10.1007/s11783-010-0289-8


Improving eco-efficiency is propitious for saving resources and reducing emissions, and has become a popular route to sustainable development. We define two energy-related eco-efficiencies: energy efficiency (ENE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-related eco-efficiency (GEE) using energy consumption and the associated GHG emissions as the environmental impacts. Using statistical data, we analyze China’s energy consumption and GHG emissions by industrial subsystem and sector, and estimate the ENE and GEE values for China in 2007 as 4.871×107 US$/PJ and 4.26×108 US$/TgCO2eq, respectively. Industry is the primary contributing subsystem of China’s economy, contributing 45.2% to the total economic production, using 79.6% of the energy consumed, and generating 91.4% of the total GHG emissions. We distinguish the individual contributions of the 39 industrial sectors to the national economy, overall energy consumption, and GHG emissions, and estimate their energyrelated eco-efficiencies. The results show that although ferrous metal production contributes only 3.5% to the national industrial economy, it consumes the most industrial energy (20% of total), contributes 16% to the total industrial global warming potential (GWP), and ranks third in GHG emissions. The power and heat sector ranks first in GHG emissions and contributes one-third of the total industrial GWP, although it only consumes about 8% of total industrial energy and, like ferrous metal production, contributes 3.5% to the national economy. The ENE of the ferrous metal and power and heat sectors are only 8 and 2.1×107 US$/PJ, while the GEE for these two sectors are 9 and 4×104 US$/GgCO2eq, respectively; these are nearly the lowest ENE and GEE values among all 39 industry sectors. Finally, we discuss the possibility of ecoefficiency improvement through a comparison with other countries.


eco-efficiency greenhouse gas (GHG)global warming potential (GWP)industrial sectorsenergy saving

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource and ProspectingChina Petroleum UniversityBeijingChina