Circular Economy and Energy Transition: A Nexus Focusing on the Non-Energy Use of Fuels

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Energy & Environment
Given emerging concerns about climate change, low-carbon energy transition is advocated and promoted. Non-energy use of fossil fuels accounted for 8.9% of the world’s total final energy consumption in 2015. Non-energy use intensity does not show an evident reduction, while energy intensity as fuel per dollar of gross domestic product has decreased thanks to energy transition efforts such as energy efficiency promotion and renewable energy expansion. This study conducted an extensive review of the circular economy and energy transition frameworks, and found that the energy transition framework has a critical gap, so it cannot provide a foundation for investigating non-energy use. This study suggests that the energy transition discourse needs to be extended to incorporate the transition of non-energy use and the achievement of a closed loop of non-energy use, which is part of the circular economy framework. The coordinated circular economy–energy transition approach could bring in synergistic effects, such as promoting circular economy activities among industries, reducing energy demand, and attaining additional greenhouse gas mitigation potential.
Circular Economy, Energy Transition, Low Carbon, Non-Energy Use of Fuels
Energy & Environment 2019, Vol. 30(4), pp. 586–600; DOI: 10.1177/0958305X19845759