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Assessment of environmental and economic costs of rural household energy consumption in Loess Hilly Region, Gansu Province, China


  • Li, Guozhu
  • Niu, Shuwen
  • Ma, Libang
  • Zhang, Xin


Due to poverty, serious soil erosion and shortage of rural household energy in Loess Hilly Region, Gansu Province, China, excessive consumption of biofuel has become a critical factor underlying eco-environment degeneration. Data on rural household energy use was obtained by questionnaires, and based on substitutable analysis, environmental and economic costs under different energy consumption structures were estimated using a quantitative model. The results show that annual energy consumption per household is 2112.44kgce and per capita 428.59kgce, a low level. The total annual energy consumption cost per household is 1925.25yuan, of which environmental cost is 621.13yuan and economic cost 1304.52yuan. Commercial energy has been used widely. The per household annual cash payment for commercial energy is 536.51yuan, 8.69% of household net income. Exclusive use of solar energy and biogas obviously decreases energy consumption cost, cash payout and energy source availability being the main criteria for household energy choice. To compare with the actual structure of energy usage, there are clear differences in the total cost, environment cost, economic cost and cash payout for households among the four substitutable structures. All costs are lower when biogas and solar energy are used, so this structure is the primary direction that rural energy should adopt in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Guozhu & Niu, Shuwen & Ma, Libang & Zhang, Xin, 2009. "Assessment of environmental and economic costs of rural household energy consumption in Loess Hilly Region, Gansu Province, China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1438-1444.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:34:y:2009:i:6:p:1438-1444
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2008.10.018

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    1. Jingwen Wu & Bingdong Hou & Ruo-Yu Ke & Yun-Fei Du & Ce Wang & Xiangzheng Li & Jiawei Cai & Tianqi Chen & Meixuan Teng & Jin Liu & Jin-Wei Wang & Hua Liao, 2017. "Residential Fuel Choice in Rural Areas: Field Research of Two Counties of North China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-16, April.
    2. Shane, Agabu & Gheewala, Shabbir H. & Kafwembe, Young, 2017. "Urban commercial biogas power plant model for Zambian towns," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
    3. San, Vibol & Sriv, Tharith & Spoann, Vin & Var, Sovanndara & Seak, Sophat, 2012. "Economic and environmental costs of rural household energy consumption structures in Sameakki Meanchey district, Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 484-491.
    4. Niu, Hewen & He, Yuanqing & Desideri, Umberto & Zhang, Peidong & Qin, Hongyi & Wang, Shijin, 2014. "Rural household energy consumption and its implications for eco-environments in NW China: A case study," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 137-145.
    5. Zhang, Rui & Wei, Taoyuan & Glomsrød, Solveig & Shi, Qinghua, 2014. "Bioenergy consumption in rural China: Evidence from a survey in three provinces," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 136-145.
    6. Lu Jiang & Xingpeng Chen & Bing Xue, 2019. "Features, Driving Forces and Transition of the Household Energy Consumption in China: A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-20, February.
    7. Jingwen Wu & Bingdong Hou & Ruoyu Ke & Yun-Fei Du & Ce Wang & Xiangzheng Li & Jiawei Cai & Tianqi Chen & Meixuan Teng & Jin Liu & Jin-Wei Wang & Hua Liao, 2018. "Residential fuel choice in the rural: A field research on two counties of North China," CEEP-BIT Working Papers 109, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), Beijing Institute of Technology.
    8. Hori, Shiro & Kondo, Kayoko & Nogata, Daisuke & Ben, Han, 2013. "The determinants of household energy-saving behavior: Survey and comparison in five major Asian cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 354-362.
    9. Karthik Rajendran & Solmaz Aslanzadeh & Mohammad J. Taherzadeh, 2012. "Household Biogas Digesters—A Review," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(8), pages 1-32, August.
    10. Niu, Shuwen & Zhang, Xin & Zhao, Chunsheng & Ding, Yongxia & Niu, Yunzhu & Christensen, Thomas H., 2011. "Household energy use and emission reduction effects of energy conversion in Lanzhou city, China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1431-1436.
    11. Fan, Jing-Li & Liao, Hua & Liang, Qiao-Mei & Tatano, Hirokazu & Liu, Chun-Feng & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2013. "Residential carbon emission evolutions in urban–rural divided China: An end-use and behavior analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 323-332.
    12. You, Jing & Kontoleon, Andreas & Wang, Sangui, 2015. "Identifying a Sustainable Pathway to Household Multi-dimensional Poverty Reduction in Rural China," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211865, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. 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.
    14. Niu, Shu-wen & Li, Yi-xin & Ding, Yong-xia & Qin, Jing, 2010. "Energy demand for rural household heating to suitable levels in the Loess Hilly Region, Gansu Province, China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2070-2078.
    15. Li, Xuesong & Li, Hao & Wang, Xingwu, 2013. "Farmers' willingness to convert traditional houses to solar houses in rural areas: A survey of 465 households in Chongqing, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 882-886.
    16. Liu, Wenling & Spaargaren, Gert & Heerink, Nico & Mol, Arthur P.J. & Wang, Can, 2013. "Energy consumption practices of rural households in north China: Basic characteristics and potential for low carbon development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 128-138.


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