Which factors are effective for farmers’ biogas use?–Evidence from a large-scale survey in China

W. Qu, Q. Tu, B. Bluemling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The Chinese government since 1995 has carried out programs for the construction of household biogas digesters in the Chinese countryside. Despite the large governmental spending in the building of household biogas digesters, only 12.16% of the households suitable to produce and use biogas, have built a digester (Li, 2009). This article asks which factors on the household level may be important for the decision whether or not to build a biogas digester. Based on a survey with 1227 households from Guangxi, Hubei, Shandong and Gansu provinces, results of a binary Probit Model show that the governmental promotion of biogas has a significant effect on households’ decision. The question arises which households may, if governmental programs were to be running out, be most likely to construct a household biogas digester? The household head's age, the number of household members staying at home, the total household income and the subjective discount rate of the respondents are significant factors in a farm household's decision to build a biogas digester. However, also agro-climatic conditions reveal to be decisive, which is why technical solutions for tackling the low productivity of biogas digesters in cold regions may need to be further considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • household

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