China Considers Lifting Energy Saving Targets

THE world's second-largest energy consumer, China, plans to reduce energy consumption further and cut carbon dioxide emission in their 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

China is expected to cut energy consumption of per unit industrial added value and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent and above respectively by 2015, compared with the end of the previous Five-Year Plan (2005-2010), according to Miao Xu, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

An industry expert told the 21st Century Business Herald that specifics are still under review, as the MIIT looks for a target reduction of 20 percent, while China’s National Development and Reform Commission’s look to set a target of 30 percent, with the final decision being made by China’s cabinet, the State Council.

At the start of the year, the targets were set but not finalised at 16 percent and 18 percent respectively, but it looks as if it will be increasingly difficult to achieve them as China will continue to accelerate industrial development during the 12th Five-Year Plan. Meaning the country will face ever more acute challenges in achieving energy savings and environmental protection, Xu said.

During the last 5-year period, China’s energy consumption of per unit industrial added value fell by 26 percent, even though the country saw an annual industrial growth of 11.57 percent leading to an annual energy consumption increase of 6.98 percent.

Research published by China’s Finance and Economics Commission of the National People's Congress revealed that during 11th Plan, energy saving relied heavily on technology and not adjustments in industrial structure and behaviour.

“This means the country needs to make more efforts in the next 5 years to alter its economic structure,” the expert told 21st Century Business Herald.

The 12th Five-Year Plan has not started well, as it is going to be difficult for China to fulfill its target for 2011 due to the rapid growth amongst the energy–intensive industries.

Over the first three quarters of this year, energy consumption of per unit industrial added value in China did reduce by 2.56 percent, but this is disappointing when the Government’s target of 3.4 percent is considered.

Picture of China Xinyu heavy industry by Harald Groven reproduced under CCL.

Wednesday 16th November 2011

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