The role of energy policy transition, regional energy efficiency, and technological advancement in the improvement of China's environmental quality

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations
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  • Wasi Ul Hassan Shah
  • Gang Hao
  • Hong Yan
  • Rizwana Yasmeen
  • Yan Jie

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9846-9857
Journal / PublicationEnergy Reports
Online published9 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022



Energy efficiency and emission reduction are a serious global concern due to rapid economic and infrastructure growth in the twenty-first century. China, the highest energy consumer and carbon emitter, shifted its energy policy in 2011 from security to efficiency and long-term economic growth. Inline, the study employed data envelopment analysis (DEA-SBM) to measure the energy efficiency of Chinese provinces from 2004 to 2017. Mann–Whitney U test was used to explore the statistically significant difference between the energy efficiency level of China for the transit of energy security policy to energy efficiency with emission reduction policy. Further Meta-frontier analysis was employed to gauge the regional heterogeneity in production technology gaps among China's eastern, central and western regions. In contrast, the Malmquist productivity index measures the technological and energy efficiency change to catch up with the total factor productivity change in all three regions. Our findings show that transection in energy policy has significant progress. However, the pace to achieve the energy efficiency targets is slow and needs more effort for on-ground implications with advancements in production technologies. Furthermore, a significant technological gap exists between China's three regions. The Eastern region is more successful in the grape the advantage of technological advancement, which improves its energy efficiency level and increases TFP change. Our study suggests that the Chinese government needs to pay more attention to improving the production technologies and energy efficiency levels in central and western regions to fill the gap and come closer to the energy efficiency level of the eastern coastal region, which will ultimately improve the energy efficiency level of the country.

Research Area(s)

  • DEA, Energy efficiency, Malmquist productivity index, Technological advancement

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