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Open AccessArticle

Residential Energy Sustainability in China and Germany: The Impact of National Energy Policy System

by Chunhong Sheng 1,*, Yun Cao 2 and Bing Xue 3
China Center for Special Economic Zone Research, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
School of Governance, Technical University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS), 14467 Potsdam, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4535;
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Perspectives on Sustainable Energy Transition)
The energy consumption and carbon emission of Chinese households is growing rapidly and will continue to do so for the near future. Currently, Chinese energy policies mainly focus on the industrial sector instead of the residential sector. Among industrialized countries, Germany has performed relatively well in the residential sector, which can provide valuable lessons for China. This paper investigates the policy-making, implementation, and resulting patterns of Chinese and German residential energy policies from a multi-level perspective. The policy system study provides a holistic view over the factors influencing residential energy sustainability. The main findings are: (1) the German residential energy policy system follows a hybrid policy model, combining top-down and bottom-up policy designs, with more demand-side or market-oriented policies, and a high level of public participation, resulting in remarkable headway toward sustainability in the residential energy sector; and (2) the Chinese energy policy system is characterized by top-down, supply-side oriented market policies with limited public participation. The policy implication of this study for China is to shift its top-down policy paradigm to a hybrid policy model that facilitates public participation in the residential energy sector. View Full-Text
Keywords: residential energy; energy policy; China; Germany; public participation residential energy; energy policy; China; Germany; public participation
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Sheng, C.; Cao, Y.; Xue, B. Residential Energy Sustainability in China and Germany: The Impact of National Energy Policy System. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4535.

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