PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (8): 1530-1541.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.08.015

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Progress and prospect of energy-economy-environment nexus research from a spatial perspective

MA Shiping1,2,3(), LIU Qianqian4,5,6, ZHANG Wenzhong2,3,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. College of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    5. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
    6. Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2021-07-19 Revised:2022-05-06 Online:2022-08-28 Published:2022-10-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenzhong;
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23100302)


Under the background of global climate change and complex international geopolitics, the spatial perspective of geography provides a new entry point for studying the nexus between energy, economy, and the environment. By summarizing the literature on energy-economy nexus, energy-environment nexus, and energy-economy-environment nexus, we found that: 1) There is a "spatial turn" in the research of energy-economy nexus, and location characteristics are used to explain spatial heterogeneity. 2) The literature on the energy-environment nexus focuses on the spatial effects of energy-related pollution and policies, and new research topics such as energy landscape research have emerged recently. 3) The study on the energy-economy-environment nexus has just appeared, with three general research frameworks: empirical research on causality, coupling and coordination degree evaluation, and multi-objective planning prediction. 4) The current research has shortcomings such as high homogeneity of empirical analysis, insufficient explanation of spatial disparity mechanism, and less research related to renewable energy. Accordingly, this article attempted to construct a research framework for the energy-economy-environment (3E) nexus from the spatial perspective. We also proposed further research topics based on the existing studies in China—improving the construction of the theoretical framework, strengthening renewable energy research, and carrying out simulation and prediction of energy-economy-environment systems under carbon reduction targets, so as to provide theoretical and empirical support for the realization of China's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals.

Key words: energy-economy-environment nexus, spatial perspective, energy geography, carbon emission