China in Major Push to Meet 20% Energy Intensity Target

China’s State Council met Wednesday, April 28, and adopted eight new measures to try to spur the country in a final push to meet its 20% energy intensity reduction target during the 5 years from 2006 to the end of 2010. While the State Council’s decision has been reported in the international media, we found the specific measures only in the Chinese press, which we summarize:

  1. Increase closures of inefficient enterprises, with new targets for closures this year of 10 GW small thermal power plants, 25 million tons iron smelting, 6 million tons steel production, 50 million tons cement, 330, 000 tons aluminum and 530,000 tons paper production.

  2. Encourage more development of energy efficient and low-polluting “green” enterprises, including the encouragement of green exports (and discouraging exports of inefficiently produced products).

  3. Increase efforts to implement the “10 Energy Efficiency Projects.” These include efforts such as green lighting, improvements in heating and cooling systems and other specific projects first outlined in the 11th Five Year Plan in 2006. The central government has allocated RMB 83.3 billion (approximately U.S. $12.25 billion) to support these efforts.

  4. Deepen structural reform of the energy sector, including management of energy companies and electricity price reform.

  5. Improve energy management among major energy users; ensure the 1000 Enterprise Program meets its new target (it met the first 5 year target a year early), and increase supervision on all enterprises using more than 5000 tons of coal per year.

  6. Ensure energy efficiency in the construction, transport and public sectors. Ensure that more than 95% of new buildings in all towns and urban areas meet or exceed building efficiency standards. Reduce energy intensity in the public sector by 5% over the previous year.

  7. Promote the use of energy efficient goods.

  8. Increase enforcement of energy efficiency regulations.

As the international press has reported, the Chinese government is concerned that the focus on economic stimulus in 2009 and the rapid pace of the economy recovery have made reaching China’s 20% target difficult. The response, however, appears to be a redoubled effort to reach the target. Energy efficiency improved by 14.3% in the first four years of the target. Making the full 20% will be a heavy lift, and we had earlier thought the Chinese government might choose to be satisfied to view something short of the target as sufficient. But Premier Wen Jiabao has now put greater pressure on the provinces to meet their targets.

Photo by cattoo, courtesy of a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic license.