On the nonlinear relationship between energy consumption and economic and social development: evidence from Henan Province, China

Abstract

The sustainable development of China’s economy and society has been restricted by energy and environmental issues. With the implementation of the Rise of Central China strategy, Henan, a populous province in China, is facing the threat of an energy shortage as its economy grows steadily and the urbanization process accelerates. Using panel data of 18 cities in Henan Province for the period of 2006–2018, this study investigates the relationship between energy consumption and economic and social development variables based on the extended Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence, and Technology (STIRPAT) model and threshold regression method. The empirical results indicate that economic and social development are significantly positively correlated with total electricity consumption, although there is regional heterogeneity in this relationship. Moreover, there is evidence for a nonlinear relationship between economic and social development and urban energy consumption. These conclusions not only promote the healthy and sustainable economic development of Henan Province but also provide a reference for other provinces and cities that are experiencing rapid development in China.

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Data availability

The data and materials used to support the findings of this study are shared by the requesting author.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Cities in China can be divided into prefecture-level city and provincial city according to administrative levels. The former is a city with traditional concepts in terms of population, urban area, and economic scale, while the latter is not as good as the population size and urban area of normal cities, but due to their important status, are cities directly under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. Seventeen prefecture-level cities (i.e., Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Luoyang, Pingdingshan, Anyang, Hebi, Xinxiang, Jiaozuo, Puyang, Xuchang, Luohe, Sanmenxia, Nanyang, Shangqiu, Xinyang, Zhoukou, and Zhumadian) and a provincial city (Jiyuan) were included.

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Acknowledgements

We deeply thank the editors and reviewers for their valuable comments.

Funding

The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (72073010, 71521002), the key research program of the Beijing Social Science Foundation (17JDYJA009), the Joint Development Program of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, and State Grid Henan Electric Power Company cooperation program (202022141016A). The usual disclaimer applies.

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Fangzhao Deng, Hujun Li, Meng Yang, Wenjie Zhao, and Yu Hao: conceptualization, methodology, funding acquisition, and supervision. Haitao Wu: conceptualization, project administration, formal analysis, and writing—review and editing. Zhiqiang Gai, Yunxia Guo, and Jingwen Huang: writing—review and editing and validation. Zhiqiang Gai, Yunxia Guo, and Jingwen Huang contributed equally to this work and share the first author.

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Correspondence to Yu Hao or Haitao Wu.

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Deng, F., Li, H., Yang, M. et al. On the nonlinear relationship between energy consumption and economic and social development: evidence from Henan Province, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12623-4

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Keywords

  • Henan Province
  • STIRPAT model
  • Threshold regression
  • Nonlinear relationship