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Direct and embodied energy-water-carbon nexus at an inter-regional scale

Chen, Shaoqing and Tan, Yiqi and Liu, Zhu (2019) Direct and embodied energy-water-carbon nexus at an inter-regional scale. Applied Energy, 251 . Art. No. 113401. ISSN 0306-2619.

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Energy, water and carbon flows are highly intertwined in economy and influence urban and regional sustainability. Few insights have been acquired for energy-water-carbon nexus at inter-regional scale considering both in- and trans-boundary flows. Here we propose an interactive framework to assess inter-regional energy-water-carbon nexus, encapsulating both direct nexus flows within territory and nexus flows embodied in final consumption. An inter-regional input-output model is established to account for energy-related water footprint, water-related energy footprint and water-related carbon footprint from a consumption-based perspective. Using Guangdong-Hong Kong as a case study, we find that though these nexus footprints contribute a small fraction of the total energy, water and carbon footprints of both regions in 2012, their impacts should not be neglected due to higher intensities. The direct intensities of water-related energy and water-related carbon are more than 2 times higher than the total energy and carbon intensities, while their embodied intensities are over 6 times higher. Inter-regional trade plays an important role in controlling energy-water-carbon nexus of both sides. About 29–44% of the consumption-based nexus footprints of Hong Kong’s consumption are outsourced to Guangdong and other regions, while 21–24% of Guangdong’s footprints are from production elsewhere. These are strong signals showing the importance of managing energy-water-carbon nexus on a cross-border and fully-interactive basis.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Chen, Shaoqing0000-0002-6700-292X
Liu, Zhu0000-0002-8968-7050
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. Received 17 March 2019, Revised 14 May 2019, Accepted 20 May 2019, Available online 27 May 2019.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China71704015
Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholar of Guangdong Province2018B030306032
Subject Keywords:Energy-water-carbon nexus; Inter-regional input-output model; Nexus flows; Footprint intensity
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190528-112145156
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Shaoqing Chen, Yiqi Tan, Zhu Liu, Direct and embodied energy-water-carbon nexus at an inter-regional scale, Applied Energy, Volume 251, 2019, 113401, ISSN 0306-2619, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95817
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 May 2019 20:03
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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