Energy consumption patterns in the process of China’s urbanization
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Urbanization has transformed daily lives and industrial production in China. We investigate the effects of this process on Chinese energy consumption patterns. Three energy-consuming sectors intricately associated with urbanization are identified and analyzed: residential households, transportation, and the building materials industry. Urbanization has profoundly affected each; moreover, the latter two are high energy consumption and potentially high carbon producing. We estimate energy consumption attributable to each sector to quantitatively evaluate their impacts on societal transition. Transportation and the production of building materials are identified as the most significant linkages from urbanization to energy consumption. Strikingly, despite the large increase in the proportion of the population that is urban, the share of urban energy consumption, as estimated here, in total energy consumption has remained stable. This suggests that economic growth, in the form of the production of goods for export and domestic consumption, is the most important driver of energy demand in China.
KeywordsUrbanization Energy consumption Circular economy Low carbon economy China
The authors greatly appreciate the comments from anonymous reviewers and the guest editor, who provided valuable insights and helpful information for this study. We are also grateful to the Ministry of Science and Technology of China for its financial support (No. 2009BAC64B01).
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