Energy Efficiency Measures and Convergence in China, Taking into Account the Effects of Environmental and Random Factors
Neng Shen1, Jingjing Zhou1, Wenjie Zou2
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1School of Business, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021, Republic of China
2School of Economics, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350108, Republic of China
Publish date: 2015-02-06
Submission date: 2014-03-19
Final revision date: 2014-07-14
Acceptance date: 2014-08-03
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(1):257–267
This paper measures energy efficiency in China using the three-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA) model and then tests the convergence of China’s energy efficiency. The study finds that environmental factors and random factors both have significant impacts on energy efficiency. After eliminating the influences of environmental and random error factors, the results present that the pure technical efficiency improves and the scale efficiency decreases, but pure technical efficiency is far lower than scale efficiency in terms of energy utilization, which indicates that low pure technical efficiency is the main factor constraining China’s energy efficiency. China’s energy efficiency presents obvious regional differences, and the energy efficiency in eastern regions is higher than that in midwestern regions. Based on the matching relationship between energy efficiency and input level, China can be regionally divided into four energy utilization modes: high efficiency and high input mode, high efficiency and low input mode, low efficiency and high input mode, and low efficiency and low input mode. Nationally, the difference in regional energy efficiency should maintain a relatively high level in the short term; divergence occurs in terms of pure technical efficiency and overall technical efficiency, while scale efficiency manifests a significant absolute convergence feature. Differential energy strategy should be carried out according to the features of different districts. Eastern regions should decrease the dependence on external energy, and develop advanced techniques with lower energy consumption. The improvement of energy efficiency in Midwest regions should depend on changing a traditionally highly energy-intensive industrial structure, undertaking clear industrial transfer from the east, excavating latent energy savings with the high-energy industry sector, and accelerating the transformation to an intensive pattern. Strengthening the energy corporation of China not only enhances energy efficiency in eastern regions but also improves energy efficiency in midwestern regions by spillover effect. Accordingly, it could improve energy efficiency balance and robustness.