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Impact of urbanization on energy demand: An empirical study of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in China

Yantuan Yu, Ning Zhang () and Jong Dae Kim

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 139, issue C

Abstract: This paper provides an empirical assessment of the effects of China's urbanization on its energy demand for 2003–2014 using a dataset of 108 cities located in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Both demographic urbanization (DU) and land urbanization (LU) are considered in the empirical analysis. The results show that urbanization exerts significant and positive impacts on energy demand during the study period. Our empirical suggest that one unit rises in DU and LU rises the energy demand by 48.85% (91.62%) and 65.54% (68.09%), respectively, without (with) considering control variables. The energy demand effects of urbanization still hold when considering spatial and heterogeneity factors. These results are robust to alternative measures of urbanization and empirical model specifications. Our results indicate that policymakers should improve the quality of urbanization to promote the growth of high-tech and high-quality industries, avoiding excessive energy consumption with extensive urbanization. Large cities should not be allowed to grow unchecked. More attention should be paid to promote the development of medium-sized cities and implement a balanced population distribution among different cities. The energy demand structure (industrial and residential; primary and secondary; renewable and nonrenewable) should be optimized by introducing cleaner/low-carbon technology and its transformation.

Keywords: Urbanization; Energy demand; Spatial analysis; Heterogeneity factors; Nighttime light (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q41 Q43 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111354

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