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The determinants of household energy demand in rural Beijing: Can environmentally friendly technologies be effective?

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  • Jingchao, Zhang
  • Kotani, Koji

Abstract

With the recent rapid economic growth, total energy demand in rural China has increased dramatically, and the energy structure is in the transition from non-commercial to commercial sources. Simultaneously, it is expected that households in rural areas will face energy shortages and additional environmental problems unless they have more access to renewable energy technologies. However, little is known about (i) the transition of energy use patterns and (ii) whether introduced technologies have been effective. To analyze these issues, we estimated the energy demands of rural households by using survey data taken from Beijing's ten suburban districts. The data contain information on both non-commercial and commercial energy use, key characteristics of the households and several renewable energy technologies. Our empirical analysis yielded three main results. First, the per capita income is a key factor in the per capita energy consumption. More specifically, the marginal increase (or marginal change) in per capita coal consumption strongly diminishes (or declines) as per capita income increases. Second, coal and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices do not exhibit substitution effects, but an increase in these prices has strong negative effects on the use of these energy resources. Third, renewable energy technologies are identified to reduce coal consumption and to improve energy efficiency. Overall, these findings suggest a positive perspective: if the Chinese government were to design appropriate policies associated with renewable energy technologies and related energy prices, then coal consumption can be reduced in the near future, and the substitution to cleaner energy use will accelerate. Therefore, a smooth energy transition in rural China could be made in a more environmentally sustainable manner.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 381-388

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:381-388

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Related research

Keywords: Energy demand; Rural households; Renewable energy technologies; Energy price;

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References

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  1. Zhou, Zhongren & Wu, Wenliang & Chen, Qun & Chen, Shufeng, 2008. "Study on sustainable development of rural household energy in northern China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(8), pages 2227-2239, October.
  2. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Shonali Pachauri, 2005. "Fuel Choices in Urban Indian Households," CEPE Working paper series 05-42, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  3. Pachauri, Shonali & Jiang, Leiwen, 2008. "The household energy transition in India and China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4022-4035, November.
  4. Rasmus Heltberg & Thomas Channing Arndt & Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, 2000. "Fuelwood Consumption and Forest Degradation: A Household Model for Domestic Energy Substitution in Rural India," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 213-232.
  5. Chen, Le & Heerink, Nico & van den Berg, Marrit, 2006. "Energy consumption in rural China: A household model for three villages in Jiangxi Province," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 407-420, June.
  6. Sheinbaum, C. & Martínez, M. & Rodríguez, L., 1996. "Trends and prospects in Mexican residential energy use," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 493-504.
  7. Démurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2011. "Poverty and firewood consumption: A case study of rural households in northern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 512-523.
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Cited by:
  1. Malla, Sunil & Timilsina, Govinda R, 2014. "Household cooking fuel choice and adoption of improved cookstoves in developing countries : a review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6903, The World Bank.
  2. Zhang, Xiao-Bing & Hassen, Sied, 2014. "Household fuel choice in urban China: A random effect generalized probit analysis," Working Papers in Economics 595, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Malesios, Chrisovalantis, 2013. "Pro-environmental attitudes of users and non-users of fuelwood in a rural area of Greece," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 621-630.
  4. Lee, Lisa Yu-Ting, 2013. "Household energy mix in Uganda," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 252-261.

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