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Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES Research

Remapping a real energy flow world: virtual and physical | Yannan Zhou

Yannan Zhou
Yannan Zhou

Field | Discipline

  • Economic geography
  • Energy economics
  • Environmental science


  • Input-output analysis
  • Spatial econometric analysis


In the era of globalization, not only the visible energy flows and allocates globally, but also energy, as an important basic raw material and production power embedded in the global production network, redistributed globally in the invisible form. In such case, the concept of energy security is redefined. The newly industrialized countries represented by China are not only the major energy importing country, but also the major manufacturing and trading country. A large amount of energy it imports does not fully serve the country’s own energy needs, Some of the energy is exported to other parts of the world in an embodied form along with the global production network and global trade network. In the process of globalization production, the developing industrialized countries are not only the major energy importer, but also the major embodied energy exporter. While the developed countries are the major energy importer as well as the major embodied energy importer.

Energy security is the bottom line. Embodied energy transfer of commodity trade in the global production needs to be distinguished in the future energy power game. The real state of national energy dependence on foreign countries and the controllable flexible space needs to be clarified. At present, there are many researches on embodied carbon and virtual water, while the researches on embodied energy transfer are relatively few and it more focuses on the areas of embodied energy scale and bilateral trade. It is urgent to systematically depict the panoramic network of global embodied transfer. By comparing traditional energy trade and embodied energy trade, re-recognizing the redistribution process of global energy and its impact on the change of geo-power of energy and energy security is particularly important for the developing industrialized countries represented by China.

Supervision by

  • Promotor: Prof. dr. K.S. (Klaus) Hubacek | Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society - IREES | ESRIG, University of Groningen.
  • Daily supervisor: Dr. Y. (Yuli) Shan | Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society - IREES | ESRIG, University of Groningen.
Last modified:05 June 2024 4.05 p.m.