China's Energy Strategy: Economic Structure, Technological Choices, and Energy Consumption

By Xiannuan Lin | Go to book overview

products. Energy conservation, therefore, should not be pursued in isolation from other economic objectives. Rather, it should be an integral part of greater efforts to improve overall economic efficiency. Second, in developing energy- conservation strategies, policymakers should go beyond energy products. They should explore not only conservation opportunities in direct consumption of energy products, but also indirect energy savings from more efficient use of nonenergy products. Third, not all energy-saving opportunities are equal. Energy- conservation efforts should give priority to those sectors or products whose energy-efficiency improvement, through interindustry linkages, will result in the largest energy savings. Fourth, there is no simple, standard policy formula to promote energy conservation. An effective strategy must be based on diagnosis--finding the causes of energy wastes in specific situations and then carefully designing strategies to overcome them. As conditions and situations change, policymakers must also shift the types of strategies used to improve energy efficiency.


NOTES
1.
This relationship holds regardless of whether final output is measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) or gross national product (GNP). Also, throughout this research, we will use the term "energy" to refer to commercial energy, thus excluding traditional (mostly biomass) fuels. If biomass energy is included, we will note this explicitly.
2.
Some analysts have questioned the usefulness of the concept of energy intensity because it is determined by many factors and will change as those factors change ( Berndt and Wood, 1974, 1975; Percebois, 1979). We will discuss some of those issues in chapter 2. We believe that energy intensity is a useful summary indicator for tracing energy-use changes in a given economy over time. Like any summary indicator, energy intensity suppresses the details and complexities that are of significance in understanding the relationship between energy and the economy. That is one reason why studies like this one are important.
3.
Based on the official exchange rate.
4.
As we will discuss in the next section, this phenomenon of declining energy intensity also occurs in some developing countries and in several newly industrialized countries. The trend towards declining energy intensity is expected to continue in China. The official plan of the Chinese government is to limit the growth rate of primary energy consumption to about half that of GDP between 1990 and 2000 ( CCPC, 1991; Polenske and Lin, 1993).
5.
Sinton and Levine ( 1993) analyze three different sets of data with differing levels of industrial disaggregation and reach a similar conclusion.
6.
Most of the measures are given in metric units, tonnes, rather than short tons or long tons.
7.
This trend ended in the late 1980s. Some analysts, such as Cleveland et al. ( 1984) and Kaufmann ( 1992), argue that the iron link has never been broken.

-11-

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China's Energy Strategy: Economic Structure, Technological Choices, and Energy Consumption
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2 - Energy in China's Economy, 1981 and 1987 13
  • Notes 36
  • 3 - Accounting for Energy-Use Changes: A Structural Decomposition Analysis 39
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Energy Effects of Production-Technology Changes 95
  • Notes 126
  • 6 - Energy Conservation in Action: A Case Study of the Iron and Steel Industry 129
  • Conclusion 158
  • Notes 161
  • 7 - Summary and Conclusion 163
  • APPENDICES 173
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 199
  • About the Author 204
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