Recently, the journal articleThe Real Economic Costs of Coved-19: Insights from Electrical Consumption Data in Hunan Province, China, which was jointly drafted by Dr. Zhong Tenglong of CUFE, Prof. Ai Hongshan and Dr. Zhou Zhengqing of Hunan University, was accepted by the top journalEnergy Economicsfor publication.
Using unique firm-level electricity consumption data, the study investigated the real impact of COVID-19 on the economy via the double-difference method. The study demonstrated that at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, electricity consumption in Hunan Province plummeted by 27.8% year-on-year, with the largest declines in the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Electricity consumption tended to rebound as the outbreak eased. The study also revealed that traditional industries with a higher degree of digital transformation had lower declines in electricity consumption, suggesting that the digital transformation contributed to hedging the negative economic impact of COVID-19. Based on the findings above, this study proposed a series of policy recommendations to control the epidemic, promote the resumption of production, and accelerate the digital transformation.