Digitalization and Energy: How Does Internet Development Affect China’s Energy Consumption?
Internet technology has broken the boundaries of traditional geographical space, greatly shortened the space-time distance between regions, and maximized the integration of various resources. Therefore, in the era of the digital economy, the rapid development of network information technology, the energy internet and other new forms of the network economy may affect energy consumption. This paper mainly studies how internet development affects China's energy consumption and the associated transmission mechanism. Specifically, this paper constructs an evaluation system of China's internet development level from four perspectives: internet popularity, internet infrastructure, internet information resources and internet application. On this basis, the relationship between internet development and China's energy consumption is investigated and found to be significantly positive; moreover, internet development promotes the energy consumption scale through economic growth. The relationship between internet development and the energy consumption structure is significantly negative, and internet development affects the energy consumption structure through economic growth, R&D investment, human capital, financial development, and the industrial structure. Interestingly, there is also empirical evidence that the nexus of internet development and energy consumption intensity is significantly negative, and internet development helps to accelerate the decline in energy consumption intensity through economic growth, R&D investment, human capital, financial development, and industrial structural upgrading.
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