Energy Policy, Vol.38, No.11, 6597-6603, 2010
The embodied energy and environmental emissions of construction projects in China: An economic input-output LCA model
A complete understanding of the resource consumption, embodied energy, and environmental emissions of civil projects in China is difficult due to the lack of comprehensive national statistics. To quantitatively assess the energy and environmental impacts of civil construction at a macro-level, this study developed a 24 sector environmental input-output life-cycle assessment model (I-O LCA) based on 2002 Chinese national economic and environmental data. The model generates an economy-wide inventory of energy use and environmental emissions. Estimates based on the level of economic activity related to planned future civil works in 2015 are made. Results indicate that the embodied energy of construction projects accounts for nearly one-sixth of the total economy's energy consumption in 2007, and may account for approximately one-fifth of the total energy use by 2015. This energy consumption is dominated by coal and oil consumptions. Energy-related emissions are the main polluters of the country's atmosphere and environment. If the industry's energy use and manufacturing techniques remain the same as in 2002, challenges to the goals for total energy consumption in China will appear in the next decade. Thus, effective implementation of efficient energy technologies and regulations are indispensable for achieving China's energy and environmental quality goals. Published by Elsevier Ltd.