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Changing of energy consumption patterns from rural households to urban households in China: An example from Shaanxi Province, China

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  • Cai, Jing
  • Jiang, Zhigang

Abstract

We chose five study sites, from a traditional village, the Laoxiancheng Village, in remote mountainous areas to towns, the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, the Mazhao Town and the Zhouzhi County Town, as well as in a modern city, Xi'an in the Shaanxi Province of China, to study differences in energy consumption between rural and urban households and to assess its conservation implications. This study confirmed the prediction of the 'ladder of fuel preferences' theory. Energies used in urban households are more convenient, cleaner, and more efficient than those used in rural areas, where biomass and coal are common fuel. The amount of energy used for entertainment and electric appliances is greater in urban areas, whereas the quantity used for cooking is larger in rural districts. People in Laoxiancheng Village completely depended on fuelwood for cooking and heating. In the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, 16.7% household use coal ball, and 23.3% use LPG. Electricity and fuelwood were used in each household. In the Mazhao Town, 96.7% households used crop residue, 90% used coal, about 30% use LPG, and every household used electricity. In the Zhouzhi County Town, of the entire sampled household, 92.7% used coal, 92.7% of household used LPG and 37.5% household used gasoline. In the Xi'an city, of the entire sampled household, 32.8% household used natural gas, 67.2% used LPG; about 34.9% household used gasoline, 48.6% household used electricity and 51.4% used natural gas for heating in winter. In the five study areas, the ratio of each energy source consumed per household was also different. In the Houzhenzi Xiang Township, coal took 6.2%, LPG 1.4%, electricity 1.4% and fuelwood 91%. In the Mazhao Town, crop residue took 31.4%, coal 62.2%, LPG 2.2%, and electricity 4.2%. In the Zhouzhi County Town, the importance of energy ranked as follows: coal 75.8%, LPG 12.8%, electricity 5%, and gasoline 6.4%. In the Xi'an city, LPG took 17.6%, natural gas 27.3%, gasoline 16.9%, and electricity 38.2%. Comparing total annual consumption, households in villages used more energy compared to the households in cities. The mean of total annual energy consumption was 79.57, 63.07, 37.75, 42.53, and 29.73Â GJ in the Laoxiancheng Village, Houzhenzi Xiang Township, Mazhao Town, Zhouzhi County Town, and Xi'an City, respectively. We should improve the efficiency of fuel burning and introduce cleaner energy resources, such as biogas and hydropower in villages. For the households in rural areas, it is necessary to substitute coal with other cleaner energy resources and it is more important and urgent for urban households to save energy, considering large population in cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Jing & Jiang, Zhigang, 2008. "Changing of energy consumption patterns from rural households to urban households in China: An example from Shaanxi Province, China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 1667-1680, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:12:y:2008:i:6:p:1667-1680
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