Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSO Conference 2018: Fourth Conference of IBPSA-England


A system dynamics study of lifecycle energy use in buildings in China

Wei Zhou, Alice Moncaster, David Reiner, Peter Guthrie

Abstract: China is the largest energy user and CO2 emitter worldwide (IEA, 2015). According to the World Energy Outlook, the final energy consumption of buildings in China increased by approximately 53% from 1990 to 2012, when China (480 Mtoe) overtook US (464 Mtoe), becoming the world’s largest building energy consumer. In 2014, China's building sector consumed 529 Mtoe, representing 18% of global total energy consumption of buildings. Underlying the continued increase of building energy consumption in China are the increasing population, rapid urbanisation and consistently strong economic growth that have been driving the expansion of building floorspace and demand for energy services and thermal comfort in buildings. Over the past decade, China's building stock has been expanding at an annual rate of 1.8 to 2.8 billion m2 . By 2015, it reached 57.2 billion m2 , representing 25.6% of global total building floor area. The expansion of building stock far outpaced the rate at which the floor area energy intensity has decreased, therefore leading to continued increase in final energy consumption. As China's social and economic growth are expected to maintain momentum, the total building stock size and the associated energy consumption will keep a generally ascending trend over the medium to long term. Energyrelated emissions from buildings are also expected to rise over the foreseeable future, although the emission trajectory is sensitive to the composition of the energy used directly by buildings and to the decarbonisation of electricity and heat generation. Rising emissions from buildings present a critical challenge to China’s pledge in the Paris Agreement to peak overall emissions by 2030. Strategically, China’s building sector needs to undergo a transition towards low-carbon development whereby the increase of building energy consumption and emissions begins to decelerate. This urgently calls for a sectorspecific policy and regulatory framework targeting both new and existing buildings and consisting of reasonably aggressive targets, sustained and effective policy instruments and assertive actions, tailored to the broader policy settings in China.
Pages: 691 - 692