Energy Consumption of Chinese Households

energy1The China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently concluded that the positive impact of recent conservation policies will be negated by the modernization of the Chinese household.

I find it interesting that we commonly talk about the problem of Chinese materialism (often without looking at our own), but the real issue appears to stem from comfort:  water and space heating consumed 59% of residential energy use in 2000.

Excerpt from summary:

“Chinese residential energy consumption will more than double by 2020, from 6.6 EJ in 2000 to 15.9 EJ in 2020. This increase will be driven primarily by urbanization, in combination with increases in living standards. In the urban and higher income Chinese households of the future, most major appliances will be common, and heated and cooled areas will grow on average. These shifts will offset the relatively modest efficiency gains expected according to current government plans and policies already in place.”

The report goes on to call for even more aggressive conservation strategies, which may be adopted, but as vast as this topic is, it is only part of China’s energy picture.  Overall, I remain optimistic that China’s nuclear energy, wind power, solar cell, and electric automobile innovation will keep constrain problematic emission growth.

Here is an illuminating graph of historical emissions from a presentation by one of the report authors, Mark Levine:


Download the full text of China’s residential energy consumption assessment.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.