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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 609; doi:10.3390/su9040609

Residential Fuel Choice in Rural Areas: Field Research of Two Counties of North China

School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Collaborative Innovation Center of Electric Vehicles in Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
Beijing Key Laboratory of Energy Economics and Environmental Management, Beijing 100081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ning Zhang, Liexun Yang and Peng Zhou
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Solid fuels are still widely used in rural China though the living standard has improved greatly. Energy poverty is an obvious indicator of poverty, which has serious effects on economic development, environment, and health. In this paper, we conducted a detailed analysis on fuel choice and usage behavior of different end-use activities in rural residential energy consumption. Using 717 household observations from micro-survey data in two counties of Shandong and Hebei province in 2016, we find that biomass is the dominant fuel used for cooking among all energy sources despite of obvious decreasing trend in recent years, accounting for 44%. Clean energy used to cook increased markedly with a proportion of nearly 50%. Solar energy is an ordinary fuel used for water heating except for biomass. Almost 90% of households rely on coal for space heating in winter, and one-third of households have space heating for fewer than two months. Ownership of home appliances for basic needs is higher than that for hedonistic needs, and usage behaviors of some appliances are economical. Fuel accessibility of commercial energy have improved noticeably in rural areas, and the high proportion usage of biomass is affected by family income, usage habits, local resources, environmental recognition, education, and age. Since the negative effects of using solid fuels, it is urgent to cleanse biomass, develop new energy, and improve residents’ cognition about the consequences of using solid fuels. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural households; fuel choice; end-use; usage behaviors rural households; fuel choice; end-use; usage behaviors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wu, J.; Hou, B.; Ke, R.-Y.; Du, Y.-F.; Wang, C.; Li, X.; Cai, J.; Chen, T.; Teng, M.; Liu, J.; Wang, J.-W.; Liao, H. Residential Fuel Choice in Rural Areas: Field Research of Two Counties of North China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 609.

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