Analysis of the energy metabolism of urban socioeconomic sectors and the associated carbon footprints: Model development and a case study for Beijing

Cities consume 80% of the world׳s energy; therefore, analyzing urban energy metabolism and the resulting carbon footprint provides basic data for formulating target carbon emission reductions. While energy metabolism includes both direct and indirect consumptions among sectors, few researchers have studied indirect consumption due to a lack of data. In this study, we used input–output analysis to calculate the energy flows among directly linked sectors. Building on this, we used ecological network analysis to develop a model of urban energy flows and also account for energy consumption embodied by the flows among indirectly linked sectors (represented numerically as paths with a length of 2 or more). To illustrate the model, monetary input–output tables for Beijing from 2000 to 2010 were analyzed to determine the embodied energy consumption and associated carbon footprints of these sectors. This analysis reveals the environmental pressure based on the source (energy consumption) and sink (carbon footprint) values. Indirect consumption was Beijing׳s primary form, and the carbon footprint therefore resulted mainly from indirect consumption (both accounting for ca. 60% of the total, though with considerable variation among sectors). To reduce emissions, the utilization efficiency of indirect consumption must improve.

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