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Variations in energy consumption and survival status between rural and urban households: A case study of the Western Loess Plateau, China

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  • Niu, Shuwen
  • Zhang, Xin
  • Zhao, Chunsheng
  • Niu, Yunzhu

Abstract

As energy consumption is closely related to all aspects of human life, it becomes the standard by which to measure people's quality of life and the national development level. Based on the “energy ladder” hypothesis, we conducted questionnaire surveys in the Western Loess Plateau of China, and accessed a considerable amount of information about the energy usage of rural and urban households. The results show that the per capita effective heat is 323.3, 282.8, 250.0 and 123.6kgce in the provincial capital, medium-sized cities, county towns and rural areas, respectively. The energy ladder feature is obvious. Using 719 sample data, the multiple regression analysis was conducted between per capita effective heat and two independent variables including per capita income and the attributes of energy used, the parameter estimation of the cross-quadratic model produced more significant effects. The three-dimensional graph clearly shows the differences in living standards and survival status between urban and rural households. High-income residents in urban areas consume more high-quality energy, they enjoy an affluent lifestyle. While low-income households in rural areas obtain less effective heat, and use poor quality fuels, they are still at the level of basic survival.

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  • Niu, Shuwen & Zhang, Xin & Zhao, Chunsheng & Niu, Yunzhu, 2012. "Variations in energy consumption and survival status between rural and urban households: A case study of the Western Loess Plateau, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 515-527.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:49:y:2012:i:c:p:515-527
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.06.046
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