Residential energy consumption and associated carbon emission in forest rural area in China: A case study in Weichang County
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Rural energy consumption in China has increased dramatically in the last decades, and has become a significant contributor of carbon emissions. Yet there is limited data on energy consumption patterns and their evolution in forest rural areas of China. In order to bridge this gap, we report the findings of field surveys in forest villages in Weichang County as a case study of rural energy consumption in northern China. We found that the residential energy consumption per household is 3313 kgce yr−1 (kilogram standard coal equivalent per year), with energy content of 9.7 × 107 kJ yr−1, including 1783 kgce yr−1 from coal, 1386 kgce yr−1 from fuel wood, 96 kgce yr−1 from electricity, and 49 kgce yr−1 from LPG. Per capita consumption is 909 kgce yr−1 and its energy content is 2.7 × 107 kJ yr−1. Due to a total energy utilization efficiency of 24.6%, all the consumed energy can only supply about 2.4 × 107 kJ yr−1 of efficient energy content. Secondly, household energy consumption is partitioned into 2614 kgce yr−1 for heating, 616 kgce yr−1 for cooking, and 117 kgce yr−1 for home appliances. Thirdly, the associated carbon emissions per household are 2556 kgC yr−1, including 1022 kgC yr−1 from unutilized fuel wood (90% of the total fuel wood). The rest of emissions come from the use of electricity (212 kgC yr−1), coal (1301 kgC yr−1) and LPG (21 kgC yr−1). Fourthly, local climate, family size and household income have strong influences on rural residential energy consumption. Changes in storage and utilization practices of fuel can lead to the 10%–30% increase in the efficiency of fuel wood use, leading to reduced energy consumption by 924 kgce yr−1 per household (27.9% reduction) and 901 kgC yr−1 of carbon emissions (35.3% reduction).
KeywordsEnergy consumption Carbon emission Rural areas Fuelwood Utilization efficiency
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