Initial declines in China’s provincial energy consumption and their drivers

Jiamin Ou, Jing Meng, Yuli Shan, Heran Zheng, Dabo Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The years from 2003 to 2016 chronicle China’s three distinct periods, characterized by fast economic expansion from 2003 to 2007, the fall and recovery of the economy under the strike of global financial crisis from 2007 to 2011, and the strategic adjustment from 2011 to 2016, known as China’s “new normal” period (a slowdown of economic growth to around 7%) aimed at “low but high-quality growth.” In the wake of this economic cycle, China’s energy consumption was also in a state of flux. From 2003 to 2007, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) and total primary energy consumption grew by 11.68% and 12.96% per year, respectively.1 Struck by the financial crisis, the growth of GDP and energy consumption slowed down to 10.68% and 6.20%, respectively, from 2007 to 2011. As China entered the “new normal” period in 2011, the economy grew at an annual rate of 7.68%, and the growth of energy consumption eased to 3.2% per year until 2016. It can be observed that the energy elasticity (the percentage change in energy consumption to achieve a 1% change in national GDP)2 in China had decreased continuously from 2003 to 2016. Starting at a level of 1.11 from 2003 to 2007, the energy elasticity dropped to 0.58 from 2007 to 2011, followed by an even lower value of 0.42 from 2011 to 2016. China seems to be on a path toward more energy-efficient growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1168
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Early online date2 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019

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