How to coordinate the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development: from the perspective of technological advancement

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Abstract

Background: Green economic development refers to reducing pollution emissions and increasing production efficiency while promoting economic growth. Although the renewable energy consumption is “green,” it may not promote green economic development due to the constraints of existing technical conditions. Therefore, the technological advancement approach that can help coordinate the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development should be identified. That is, determining whether to develop new technologies or improve existing technologies should be paid more attention in the context of continuous increase in renewable energy consumption. Results: (1) The inverted N-shaped relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development under the existing technical conditions. The degree of renewable energy consumption can merely promote green economic development in the interval of 0.67–10.87. That is, the renewable energy consumption (% of total energy consumption) is less than 0.67% or greater than 10.87%, which is not conducive to green economic development. (2) Developing new technologies can stimulate the positive effect of renewable energy consumption on green economic development. However, the improvement of existing technologies fails to exhibit an effective impact on the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development. (3) Coordinating the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development can also be achieved by reducing the dependence of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on fossil fuels. (4) The stage of economic development might impact the effect of renewable energy on green economic development. Conclusions: It is particularly important to improve technological innovation capabilities, especially in countries with a high proportion of renewable energy consumption. In addition, the government should guide the funds and resources to the renewable energy industry through the credit rationing system to promote the transition of the industrial structure to an environmentally friendly direction. For countries with relatively low levels of economic development, this does not mean that these countries should reduce their demand for renewable energy. Instead, these countries need to take more proactive measures, such as increasing technological innovation capabilities and optimizing industrial structure to coordinate the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development.

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Xie, F., Liu, Y., Guan, F., & Wang, N. (2020). How to coordinate the relationship between renewable energy consumption and green economic development: from the perspective of technological advancement. Environmental Sciences Europe, 32(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-020-00350-5

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