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Firm-level determinants of energy and carbon intensity in China

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  • Cao, Jing
  • Karplus, Valerie J.

Abstract

In recent years, China׳s leaders have sought to coordinate official energy intensity reduction targets with new targets for carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity reduction. The Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006–2010) included for the first time a binding target for energy intensity, while a binding target for CO2 intensity was included later in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011–2015). Using panel data for a sample of industrial firms in China covering 2005 to 2009, we investigate the drivers of energy intensity reduction (measured in terms of direct primary energy use and electricity use) and associated CO2 intensity reduction. Rising electricity prices were associated with decreases in electricity intensity and increases in primary energy intensity, consistent with a substitution effect. Overall, we find that energy intensity reduction by industrial firms during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan translated into more than proportional CO2 intensity reduction because reducing coal use—in direct industrial use as well as in the power sector—was a dominant abatement strategy. If similar dynamics characterize the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011–2015), the national 17 percent CO2 intensity reduction target may not be difficult to meet—and the 16 percent energy intensity reduction target may result in significantly greater CO2 intensity reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Cao, Jing & Karplus, Valerie J., 2014. "Firm-level determinants of energy and carbon intensity in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 167-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:75:y:2014:i:c:p:167-178
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.08.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gutiérrez-Pedrero, María Jesús & Tarancón, Miguel Ángel & del Río, Pablo & Alcántara, Vicent, 2018. "Analysing the drivers of the intensity of electricity consumption of non-residential sectors in Europe," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 743-754.
    2. Xiaofei Han & Jianling Jiao & Lancui Liu & Lanlan Li, 2017. "China’s energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions: do carbon emission reduction paths matter?," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 86(3), pages 1333-1345, April.
    3. Stucki, Tobias, 2019. "Which firms benefit from investments in green energy technologies? – The effect of energy costs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 546-555.
    4. Fujii, Hidemichi & Cao, Jing & Managi, Shunsuke, 2016. "Firm-level environmentally sensitive productivity and innovation in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 915-925.
    5. Zha, Jianping & Tan, Ting & Fan, Rong & Xu, Han & Ma, Siqi, 2020. "How to reduce energy intensity to achieve sustainable development of China's transport sector? A cross-regional comparison analysis," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    6. Wang, Zhaohua & Zhang, Bin & Liu, Tongfan, 2016. "Empirical analysis on the factors influencing national and regional carbon intensity in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 34-42.
    7. Yang, Zhenbing & Fan, Meiting & Shao, Shuai & Yang, Lili, 2017. "Does carbon intensity constraint policy improve industrial green production performance in China? A quasi-DID analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 271-282.
    8. Zhang, Wei & Li, Ke & Zhou, Dequn & Zhang, Wenrui & Gao, Hui, 2016. "Decomposition of intensity of energy-related CO2 emission in Chinese provinces using the LMDI method," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 369-381.

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