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Analysis of rural residential energy consumption and corresponding carbon emissions in China

Yao, Chunsheng, Chen, Chongying, Li, Ming
Energy policy 2012 v.41 pp. 445-450
bioenergy, carbon, carbon dioxide, climate change, coal, cooking, electricity, energy efficiency, energy policy, farmers, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, income, rural areas, sustainable technology, urban areas, China
The analysis of rural residential energy consumption in China from 2001 to 2008 and corresponding impacts on climate change is presented in the paper. It is found that rural residential energy consumption has shown obvious transition from non-commercial energy to commercial energy. The percentage of biomass energy consumption dropped from 81.5% in 2001 to 70.9% in 2008, while the percentage of commercial energy increased from 17.1% to 25.1%. Besides, other renewable energy increased very fast with annual growth rate of 19.8%. Correspondingly, total CO₂ emissions from rural residential energy consumption had significant increase from 152.2 Million tons in 2001 to 283.6 Million tons in 2008. The annual growth rate of per capita CO₂ emissions was nearly 2 times faster than that of urban area. The major driving force for the consumption of commercial energy was the income of rural farmers, while strong rural energy policies supported the development of renewable energy. To satisfy the goals of energy supply and CO₂ emissions reduction in rural areas, it is advised to change the energy structure and improve the energy efficiency, such as to generate electricity using renewable technologies and to replace coal with modern biomass energy for cooking and heating.