Applied Energy, Vol.143, 359-369, 2015
Mapping and benchmarking regional disparities in China's energy supply, transformation, and end-use in 2010
China's past economic development policies resulted in different energy infrastructure patterns across China. Regional disparities in China's current energy flow are rarely visualised and quantified from a system-wide perspective. This study therefore constructs Sankey diagrams for three sub-regions of China in 2010, benchmarks those to the corresponding national Sankey diagram, and quantifies the following major regional disparities: (i) West- and Central-China account for about 89% of the country's coal production. (ii) About 50% of coal fired power generation and about 90% of refining can be mapped to East-China. (iii) East-China also dominated the country's industrial energy consumption, accounting for about 70% of oil, about 58% of coal and about 53% of electricity consumption in industry. This paper highlights the need to combine national and regional energy planning to account for this spatial heterogeneity in China's energy infrastructure, such as future energy intensity and CO2 emission reduction targets. More comparable statistical research is needed to better understand inconsistencies between China's provincial and national energy statistics, in particular for coal. We find data differences of up to 46% for coal, which are due to statistical inconsistencies and assumptions in our methodology. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.