ENERGY IN CHINA'S ECONOMY, 1981 AND 1987
Energy plays a critical role in an economy. It is not only a final product that people use for such basic activities as cooking, lighting, controlling temperature, and powering appliances, but also a fundamental input to the economy, essential for manufacturing products, transporting output, and delivering services ( OTA, 1990). In fact, the very definition of economic production implies use of energy, as pointed out by Chenery ( 1953):
To the economist, production means anything that happens to an object or set of objects which increases its value. Usually this results in a change in form, but it may be merely a change in space or time. The basic physical condition necessary to effect any of these changes (except the last) is that energy must be applied to the material. Application of energy in some form is one element common to both the economist's and the engineer's concept of production.
In this chapter, we examine the energy-use patterns in China's economy to provide the context and background information for the structural decomposition analysis presented in chapters 3 to 5. We divide the chapter into three sections. We first review the size and structure of China's energy consumption in 1981 and 1987, then assess the energy intensity of China's economy in the 1980s, and finally describe in some detail how energy uses changed between 1981 and 1987.
To the seemingly simple question "how much commercial energy is used in China's economy?" there is no simple answer. Energy is not a single material commodity. It is an abstract concept invented by physical scientists to describe quantitatively a wide variety of natural phenomena ( Rose, 1986). Energy occurs in many different forms and comes from many different resources or