JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 2793-2802.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20201118

• Regional Energy Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Household energy consumption characteristics of the Tus ethnic group in the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau

LI Hong-qing1,2(), XING Ran1,2, JIANG Lu3,4, CHEN Xing-peng4, XUE Bing1,5()   

  1. 1. Institute of Applied Ecology, CAS, Shenyang 110016, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510070, China
    4. College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    5. Academy of Plateau Science and Sustainability, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810016, China
  • Received:2020-03-13 Revised:2020-07-15 Online:2020-11-28 Published:2021-01-28
  • Contact: Bing XUE;


Energy plays an important role in social and economic development. Household energy consumption behavior has a wide range of connections with regional or global social ecosystems, and has significant spatial and social differences under the influence of culture and geography. China is a country with multi-ethnic groups. The ethnic areas in China have different characteristics in terms of production and lifestyle, climate conditions, cultural traditions, and other aspects and also show certain characteristics in the consumption of living energy. However, the research on the energy geography of ethnic minority groups' households is still on the initial stage and lacks a first-hand data survey. Based on the special geographical characteristics of the Tibetan Plateau, this study focused on the 100 Tu's households in Qinghai province and carried out field investigations. From the perspective of overall investigation and income-based groups, we compared the characteristics of their household energy consumption, calculated the environmental effects, constructed an energy flow model, and visualized the household energy consumption input-out flow. The survey results show that the per capita energy consumption of Tu households is 3473 kgce, and the energy resources are mainly coal, firewood, straw, and cow-dung. By comparison, we found that the energy consumption of low-income households is 3485 kgce, while that of high-income households is 3974 kgce. As income levels rise, the energy consumption structure gradually changes to diversification, and the importance of energy gradually turns from biomass energy to commodity energy. The survey shows that the convenience of household energy access is listed in a discending order of electricity, straw, animal dung, fuelwood, solar energy, coal, gasoline/diesel, and liquefied gas. The per capita greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions of households are 1872.21 kg, of which CO2, N2O, CH4, NOX, SO2 and TSP are 1856.87 kg, 117.10 g, 295.14 g, 254.46 g, 451.87 g and 520.74 g, respectively. In the future, the Tibetan Plateau region should enhance the use of clean energy, and promote the sustainable transformation of regional household energy consumption. The research results are expected to provide scientific support for the clean energy transformation and sustainable development on the Tibetan Plateau.

Key words: household energy consumption, Tibetan Plateau, environmental effects, energy material flow mode, Tu ethnic group