A study of energy efficiency of transport sector in China from 2003 to 2009

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1077
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Online published6 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


As one of the three high-energy consumption sectors (industry, building, and transportation) in China, the transport sector faced a devastating resource and environment challenge. The transport sector was reportedly responsible for about 15.9% of the country's total final energy consumption in 2008. This paper investigates the energy consumption and efficiency of China's transport sector from 2003 to 2009. The transport energy data of 30 China administrative regions were divided into "three-belts" (Eastern, Western, and Central areas), and the corresponding turnovers were reported and analyzed using an index decomposition analysis (Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index). The energy data and turnover of the transport sector indicated that the high growth rate of turnover results is attributed to the high growth rate of diesel, assuming that diesel is the major fuel for freight transport. The growth of diesel is the main contributor to the overall growth of energy consumption. The growth rate of gasoline has become minimal since 2006. Since 2005, all three-belt areas, with regard to the effectiveness of energy conservation policies, have continuously improved their energy efficiencies based on the results of decomposition analysis. The energy intensity effect shows that the energy conservation and efficiency policies were more effective in the Central and Western areas than that in the Eastern area. On the other hand, the regional shift effect indicates that the policies favor to the Eastern area since only its regional shift effect contributes energy savings since 2008. The energy-mix effect is insignificant, which indicates that it is not necessary to conduct CO2 emission decomposition analysis due to the redundant observations. At last, the activity effect dominates the energy consumption increase (98.05% of the accumulated total energy increase) from 2003 to 2009, which is consistent with the rapid development of transportation in China. That is, the policies in the transport sector mainly focused on the economic development but the energy efficiencies in the study period.

Research Area(s)

  • China transport sector, Energy efficiency, LMDI, Policy analysis