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Cause and effect of renewable energy consumption on urbanization and economic growth in China's provinces and regions
- Bao, Chao, Xu, Mutian
- Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.231 pp. 483-493
- carbon, clean energy, energy, energy policy, geographical variation, renewable energy sources, urbanization, China
- Renewable energy development is one of the cleaner production paths for China's transformation of urbanization and economic development. Recognizing the nexus among them may help China to formulate a targeted policy for efficient and clean energy utilization, as well as for carbon reduction. Based on the panel data of 30 provinces and seven geographical regions over the period of 1997–2015, we apply a bootstrap panel causality test to explore the cause and effect of renewable energy consumption on urbanization and economic growth in China after a cross-sectional dependence test and a slope homogeneity test. We find that China's renewable energy consumption, urbanization and economic growth in one region might be influenced by the others. However, no causality is found in 80% of provinces and 71% of geographical regions for the nexus of renewable energy consumption and urbanization, and no causality is found in 53% of provinces and 43% of geographical regions for the nexus of renewable energy consumption and economic growth. Besides, significant geographical differences are found for the nexus. Therefore, the Chinese government should not only strengthen a unified renewable energy management system to advocate regional cooperation, but also give full play to the weak joint linkages and adopt differentiated renewable energy policies according to local conditions. The interactive mechanism and a virtuous cycle among the three indicators should be established in the medium and long term to help China's energy use towards a cleaner transition.