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Sustainability effects of household-scale biogas in rural China

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  • Gosens, Jorrit
  • Lu, Yonglong
  • He, Guizhen
  • Bluemling, Bettina
  • Beckers, Theo A.M.

Abstract

Households in rural China rely heavily on low quality fuels which results in reduced quality of life and environmental degradation. This study assesses the comparative contribution of household scale biogas installations to the broad set of sustainability objectives in the Chinese biogas policy framework, which targets household budget, fuel collection workload, forest degradation, indoor air quality and health, renewable energy supply, and climate change. A household survey was used to determine how biogas affected consumption levels of crop residues, fuel wood, coal, LPG, and electricity. Biogas users were found to reduce consumption of biomass fuels but not coal. Although LPG is not a highly commonly used fuel in rural China, biogas users nearly cease to use it altogether. A big reduction in fuel wood consumption results in strongly reduced workload and forest degradation. Although household scale biogas has alleviated all sustainability issues targeted by Chinese policies, low quality fuel use remains abundant, even in households using biogas. Continued promotion of the construction of biogas installations is advisable, but additional policies are needed to ensure higher quality heating energy supply and cleaner uses of biomass fuels.

Suggested Citation

  • Gosens, Jorrit & Lu, Yonglong & He, Guizhen & Bluemling, Bettina & Beckers, Theo A.M., 2013. "Sustainability effects of household-scale biogas in rural China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 273-287.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:54:y:2013:i:c:p:273-287
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.11.032
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    Cited by:

    1. Huijie Yan, 2015. "The Integration of Energy, Environment and Health Policies in China: A Review," AMSE Working Papers 1548, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 10 Nov 2015.
    2. Sun, Dingqiang & Bai, Junfei & Qiu, Huanguang & Cai, Yaqing, 2014. "Impact of government subsidies on household biogas use in rural China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 748-756.
    3. Deng, Yanfei & Xu, Jiuping & Liu, Ying & Mancl, Karen, 2014. "Biogas as a sustainable energy source in China: Regional development strategy application and decision making," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 294-303.
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    6. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:933-944 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yin, Dongxue & Liu, Wei & Zhai, Ningning & Wang, Yandong & Ren, Chengjie & Yang, Gaihe, 2017. "Regional differentiation of rural household biogas development and related driving factors in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1008-1018.
    8. He, Guizhen & Bluemling, Bettina & Mol, Arthur P.J. & Zhang, Lei & Lu, Yonglong, 2013. "Comparing centralized and decentralized bio-energy systems in rural China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 34-43.
    9. Christophe Muller & Huijie Yan, 2018. "Household Fuel Use in Rural China," Working Papers halshs-01735847, HAL.
    10. Halder, P.K. & Paul, N. & Joardder, M.U.H. & Khan, M.Z.H. & Sarker, M., 2016. "Feasibility analysis of implementing anaerobic digestion as a potential energy source in Bangladesh," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 124-134.
    11. Qu, Mei & Lin, Ying & Liu, Can & Yao, Shunbo & Cao, Yang, 2016. "Farmers׳ perceptions of developing forest based bioenergy in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 581-589.
    12. Huijie Yan, 2015. "The Integration of Energy, Environment and Health Policies in China: A Review," Working Papers halshs-01247183, HAL.
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    14. Qu, Wei & Tu, Qin & Bluemling, Bettina, 2013. "Which factors are effective for farmers’ biogas use?–Evidence from a large-scale survey in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 26-33.
    15. Mishra, Pulak & Behera, Bhagirath, 2016. "Socio-economic and environmental implications of solar electrification: Experience of rural Odisha," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 953-964.
    16. Cheng, Shikun & Li, Zifu & Mang, Heinz-Peter & Neupane, Kalidas & Wauthelet, Marc & Huba, Elisabeth-Maria, 2014. "Application of fault tree approach for technical assessment of small-sized biogas systems in Nepal," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1372-1381.
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    18. repec:eee:rensus:v:74:y:2017:i:c:p:1287-1299 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:11:p:1902-:d:119509 is not listed on IDEAS

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