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Development process and probable future transformations of rural biogas in China


  • Wang, Xiaojiao
  • Lu, Xingang
  • Yang, Gaihe
  • Feng, Yongzhong
  • Ren, Guangxin
  • Han, Xinhui


In order to provide a clear guidance for biogas development in rural China, the progress and current status of rural biogas, critical factors influencing biogas development in rural areas, and probable biogas transformations are discussed in this paper. Rural biogas in China experiences rapid development in the past fifteen years and subsidies and policies from Chinese government are two main driving forces for promoting this development. For the recent days, the growth rate of household biogas decreased and that of Medium-to-large biogas projects (MLBPs) obviously increased. Several surveys showed that the utilization rate of household biogas greatly decreased and more and more digesters were discontinued. The underlying reasons for these changes come from the development of large-scale livestock farms, agricultural modernization and urbanization, which deeply affect the agricultural and social environment in rural China. The development of these agricultural and social factors all create positive conditions for MLBPs, but they negatively affect household biogas projects in terms of biomass supply and their participation in modern agricultural processes. Ongoing transformations and developments in local agriculture and rural society significantly influence the patterns of biogas projects. For future biogas development, MLBPs should be encouraged and the reduction of household biogas projects should be allowed to continue. However, recommendations on probable biogas development transformations suggest that the decision for expanding or abandoning the household projects in certain regions should be consistent with the developments and trends of local agriculture and society. For MLBPs, suitable developing models and reasonable operating mechanisms should be fully considered for assuring their benefits and continuous operation.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xiaojiao & Lu, Xingang & Yang, Gaihe & Feng, Yongzhong & Ren, Guangxin & Han, Xinhui, 2016. "Development process and probable future transformations of rural biogas in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 703-712.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:703-712
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.09.097

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zou, Shuzhen & Wang, Hui & Wang, Xiaojiao & Zhou, Sha & Li, Xue & Feng, Yongzhong, 2016. "Application of experimental design techniques in the optimization of the ultrasonic pretreatment time and enhancement of methane production in anaerobic co-digestion," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 191-202.
    2. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:933-944 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:energy:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:352-360 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Xiaohua, Wang & Kunquan, Li & Hua, Li & Di, Bai & Jingru, Liu, 2017. "Research on China’s rural household energy consumption – Household investigation of typical counties in 8 economic zones," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P1), pages 28-32.
    6. repec:eee:renene:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:362-370 is not listed on IDEAS


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