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Physical sustainability assessment for the China society: Exergy-based systems account for resources use and environmental emissions

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  • Zhang, Bo
  • Chen, G.Q.

Abstract

As a physical assessment of the sustainability of the China society, presented in this paper is an exergy-based systems account for resources use and environmental emissions of the China society in 2006 as the most recent year with statistics availability. Exergy analysis is applied to elucidate the resources flows from the natural environment into the society, between other countries or regions and the society, between the sectors of the society, and the emissions outflows into the natural environment from different sectors. For the China society broken down into seven sectors (i.e., extraction, conversion, agriculture, industry, transportation, tertiary and households) as one of the most complicated cases, systems account of environmental emissions as greenhouse gases and "three wastes" is carried out for the first time, combined with an updated resources account. The total societal exergy consumption amounts to 101.1Â EJ, of which 93.6% is due to resources use accounted as 94.6Â EJ, of which 23.2% is by the industry sector, 22.8% by conversion, 20.4% by households, 12.3% by agriculture, 9.0% by tertiary, 6.9% by extraction and 5.4% by transport, and 6.4% due to environmental emissions accounted as 6481.6Â PJ, including greenhouse gas emissions of 5706.1Â PJ, with the highly remarkable fraction of 49.05% from CH4 of the same importance as 50.91% from CO2 and only 0.04% from N2O, and "three wastes" emissions of only 775.5Â PJ. The extraction sector is shown as the leading emitter with 32.6% of the total emissions, followed by the industry with 20.0%, agriculture with 17.3%, and conversion sector with 16.8%. To characterize the network performance in context of environmental resources from a systems ecological perspective, exergy-based ecological efficiency and resources conversion coefficient are found as 88.8% and 91.3% for the extraction sector, 29.0% and 30.0% for the conversion sector, 31.5% and 33.5% for the agriculture sector, 34.8% and 36.1% for the industry sector, 16.3% and 17.3% for the transportation sector, 38.4% and 38.5% for the tertiary sector, and only 1.3% and 1.3% for the households sector, respectively. Comparisons with other societies and with China society in previous years are made to further illustrate the physical sustainability of the societal system on the international and development horizons.

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  • Zhang, Bo & Chen, G.Q., 2010. "Physical sustainability assessment for the China society: Exergy-based systems account for resources use and environmental emissions," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 1527-1545, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:14:y:2010:i:6:p:1527-1545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dai, Jing & Chen, Bin & Sciubba, Enrico, 2014. "Extended exergy based ecological accounting for the transportation sector in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 229-237.
    2. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:2:p:322-329 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zhang, L.X. & Wang, C.B. & Bahaj, A.S., 2014. "Carbon emissions by rural energy in China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 641-649.
    4. Yang, J. & Chen, B., 2014. "Extended exergy-based sustainability accounting of a household biogas project in rural China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 264-272.
    5. Chen, G.Q. & Yang, Q. & Zhao, Y.H., 2011. "Renewability of wind power in China: A case study of nonrenewable energy cost and greenhouse gas emission by a plant in Guangxi," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 2322-2329, June.
    6. Chen, G.Q. & Yang, Q. & Zhao, Y.H. & Wang, Z.F., 2011. "Nonrenewable energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions of a 1.5Â MW solar power tower plant in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 1961-1967, May.
    7. Zhang, Bo & Chen, G.Q. & Li, J.S. & Tao, L., 2014. "Methane emissions of energy activities in China 1980–2007," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 11-21.
    8. Chen, G.Q. & Zhang, Bo, 2010. "Greenhouse gas emissions in China 2007: Inventory and input-output analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6180-6193, October.
    9. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:15:p:2825-2834 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zhang, Bo & Chen, G.Q., 2010. "Methane emissions by Chinese economy: Inventory and embodiment analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4304-4316, August.
    11. BoroumandJazi, G. & Saidur, R. & Rismanchi, B. & Mekhilef, S., 2012. "A review on the relation between the energy and exergy efficiency analysis and the technical characteristic of the renewable energy systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 3131-3135.
    12. Zhang, Xiaohong & Wu, Liqian & Zhang, Rong & Deng, Shihuai & Zhang, Yanzong & Wu, Jun & Li, Yuanwei & Lin, Lili & Li, Li & Wang, Yinjun & Wang, Lilin, 2013. "Evaluating the relationships among economic growth, energy consumption, air emissions and air environmental protection investment in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 259-270.
    13. Zhang, Bo & Chen, G.Q. & Xia, X.H. & Li, S.C. & Chen, Z.M. & Ji, Xi, 2012. "Environmental emissions by Chinese industry: Exergy-based unifying assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 490-501.
    14. Chang, Yuan & Ries, Robert J. & Wang, Yaowu, 2011. "The quantification of the embodied impacts of construction projects on energy, environment, and society based on I-O LCA," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6321-6330, October.
    15. Zhang, Bo & Chen, G.Q., 2014. "Methane emissions in China 2007," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 886-902.
    16. Li, Xue & Lin, Cong & Wang, Yang & Zhao, Lingying & Duan, Na & Wu, Xudong, 2015. "Analysis of rural household energy consumption and renewable energy systems in Zhangziying town of Beijing," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 318(C), pages 184-193.
    17. Xia, X.H. & Huang, G.T. & Chen, G.Q. & Zhang, Bo & Chen, Z.M. & Yang, Q., 2011. "Energy security, efficiency and carbon emission of Chinese industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3520-3528, June.
    18. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:14:p:2362-2376 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ma, Linwei & Allwood, Julian M. & Cullen, Jonathan M. & Li, Zheng, 2012. "The use of energy in China: Tracing the flow of energy from primary source to demand drivers," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 174-188.
    20. Yang, Q. & Chen, G.Q. & Liao, S. & Zhao, Y.H. & Peng, H.W. & Chen, H.P., 2013. "Environmental sustainability of wind power: An emergy analysis of a Chinese wind farm," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 229-239.
    21. García Kerdan, Iván & Raslan, Rokia & Ruyssevelt, Paul & Morillón Gálvez, David, 2017. "The role of an exergy-based building stock model for exploration of future decarbonisation scenarios and policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 467-483.
    22. An, Qier & An, Haizhong & Wang, Lang & Gao, Xiangyun & Lv, Na, 2015. "Analysis of embodied exergy flow between Chinese industries based on network theory," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 318(C), pages 26-35.

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