PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 141-.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.02.003

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Emission disparity of rural household energy consumption in different types of areas in the lower reach of the Weihe River

Hongying ZHU(), Wenheng WU(), Xinjun YANG, Jingsa ZHANG   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Online:2015-03-23 Published:2015-03-23


Owning to the vast area and great diversities in natural and economic conditions of China's rural areas, different rural areas have varied energy consumption characteristics, which lead to a clear regional variation of emissions. Exploring emission disparity of rural household energy consumption in different types of areas is important for understanding its regional variation and formulating sound regional development and environmental management policies. Taking the Linwei District, lower reach of the Weihe River as case study area, this research collected data through a household survey as well as interviews, and calculated the emission of rural household energy consumption in different types of regions by emission coefficient method. The gray relational analysis method was used to identify the influencing factors of emission disparities. The results are as follows: (1) The emission of rural household energy use in different types of areas has significant differences. Total emissions of a single household in the plain, loess tableland, and Qinling piedmont areas are 1850.43 kg, 1863.20 kg, and 2556.68 kg, respectively. The loess tableland area where rural households utilize a large portion of biogas has the lowest emission from household energy use, indicating that biogas use is of great benefit to reducing emissions; the Qinling piedmont area has the highest energy-related emission, which shows that more attention should be paid to the daily energy use and emissions of households that use traditional biomass energy primarily and have lower income; the plain area has medium level of emission in the three regions, reflecting that commercial energy increase does not necessarily bring more emissions. (2) As the main pollutant of household energy use, CO2 emission is lowest in the plain area, higher in the loess tableland area, and highest in the Qinling piedmont area. The three regions ranked differently in terms of other pollutants: the Qinling piedmont area has the highest TSP emission, while solid waste emission mostly come from the plain area. It indicates that emission disparities in different areas are influenced by the dominant energy types. (3) The regional supply capacity of household energy is the fundamental cause of emission disparities. Other influencing factors are related to the characteristics of rural households as determined by the regional environment, including age structure, educational background, economic status, and occupational structure.

Key words: rural household energy consumption, emission disparity, carbon emissions, biogas, lower reach of the Weihe River