Energy consumption practices of rural households in north China: Basic characteristics and potential for low carbon development

Wenling Liu Wenling, G. Spaargaren, N. Heerink, A.P.J. Mol, C. Wang

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing the climate impact of rural household energy consumption in China is complicated since it is bound up with deeply routinized daily practices and dependent from existing infrastructural systems of energy supply. To assess the potential for low carbon development we first estimate the overall CO2 emissions of rural households, followed by a more in depth description and characterization of the different energy use practices within the households. Space heating turns out to be the largest emission source among domestic energy practices in north China. We present lifestyle and context related factors that help to explain existing differences in domestic energy use practices of households. The potential for low carbon development is discussed both at the demand side and the supply side. At the demand side, the use of more efficient technologies and cleaner energy sources for space heating seems to be a high potential measure for achieving low carbon households. At the supply side the reduction of rural domestic CO2 emissions could be effectively supported by making available to householders renewable and cleaner energy sources and technologies. In order to be effective, such low carbon energy options should take into account the (income) characteristics and lifestyles of rural householders
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • co2 emissions
  • cooking
  • province
  • model
  • electrification
  • alternatives
  • bangladesh
  • strategies
  • patterns
  • villages

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