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Assessment of Electricity Productivity in China: Regional Differences and Convergence

Pinjie Xie1,*, Ying Zhai1, Fan Yang1,2, Zhuowen Mu3, Chao Wang4

1 College of Economics and Management, Shanghai University of Electric Power, Shanghai, 200090, China
2 Zhejiang Electric Transmission and Transformation Engineering Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, 310016, China
3 State Grid Jiangsu Marketing Service Center (Metrology Center), Nanjing, 210019, China
4 Beijing Electric Power Transmission and Transformation Co., Ltd., Beijing, 102401, China

* Corresponding Author: Pinjie Xie. Email: email

Energy Engineering 2021, 118(5), 1353-1374.


Electricity productivity is regarded as a major assessment indicator in the design of energy saving policies, given that China has entered a “New Normal” of economic development. In fact, enhancing electricity productivity in an all-round way, as is one of the binding indicators for energy and environmental issues, means that non-growth target of total electric energy consumption in the economic development is feasible. The Gini coefficient, Theil index, and Mean log deviation are utilized to measure regional differences in China’s electricity productivity from 1997 to 2016 in five regions, and conditional β convergence is empirically analyzed with the spatial Durbin model. The results show that: (1) China’s electricity productivity is improving, while the overall feature is that the eastern area has a higher efficiency than the western area. (2) The difference in electricity productivity is the smallest in the northeast and the largest in the northwest. Interregional difference plays an important role and is the main cause for the differences. (3) The electricity productivity in China exhibits β convergence, except for the northwest. The positive driving factor is urbanization level (0.0485%), and the negative driving factor is FDI (–0.0104%). Moreover, the urbanization rate (0.0669%), foreign direct investment (0.0960%), and the industrial structure (–0.0769%) have a spatial spillover effect on improving regional electricity productivity. Based on this conclusion, the study provides some recommendations for saving energy policy design in China’s power industry.


Cite This Article

Xie, P., Zhai, Y., Yang, F., Mu, Z., Wang, C. (2021). Assessment of Electricity Productivity in China: Regional Differences and Convergence. Energy Engineering, 118(5), 1353–1374.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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