Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 125-136 .doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0916-3

• Human-Environment Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal dynamics of electric power consumption in Chinese Mainland from 1995 to 2008 modeled using DMSP/OLS stable nighttime lights data

HE Chunyang1,2, MA Qun1,2, LI Tong1,2, YANG Yang1,2, LIU Zhifeng1,2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. College of Resources Science &|Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2011-10-13 Revised:2011-11-05 Online:2012-02-15 Published:2011-12-26
  • Supported by:

    The National Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB950901; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971059


Electric power consumption (EPC) is one of the basic indices for evaluating electric power use. Obtaining timely and accurate data on the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC is crucial for understanding and practical deployment of electric power resources. In this study, an EPC model was developed using stable nighttime lights time-series data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS). The model was used to reconstruct the spatial patterns of EPC in Chinese Mainland at the county level from 1995 to 2008. In addition, the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC were analyzed, and the following conclusions were drawn. (1) The EPC model reliably represented the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC in Chinese Mainland with approximately 70% accuracy. (2) The EPC in most regions of Chinese Mainland was at low to moderate levels, with marked temporal and spatial variations; of high-level EPC, 58.26% was concentrated in eastern China. Six urban agglomerations (Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan region, Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou region, Pearl River Delta, Shandong Peninsula, middle-south of Liaoning Province, and Sichuan Basin) accounted for 10.69% of the total area of Chinese Mainland but consumed 39.23% of the electricity. (3) The EPC of most regions in Chinese Mainland increased from 1995 to 2008, and 64% of the mainland area showed a significant increase in EPC. Moderate increases in EPC were found in 61.62% of eastern China and 80.65% of central China from 1995 to 2008, whereas 75.69% of western China showed no significant increase in EPC. Meanwhile, 77.27%, 89.35%, and 66.72% of the Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou region, Pearl River Delta, and Shandong Peninsula, respectively, showed high-speed increases in EPC. Moderate increases in EPC occurred in 71.12% and 72.13% of the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan region and middle-south of Liaoning Province, respectively, while no significant increase occurred in 56.34% of the Sichuan Basin.

Key words: DMSP/OLS, electric power consumption, spatiotemporal dynamics, Chinese Mainland