China Meets Energy Consumption Target for 2010

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Jan. 19 – Effectively meeting the country’s five-year target to improve energy efficiency, China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP was reduced by 20 percent between 2005 and 2010, Zhang Ping, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, announced on January 7.

Detailed data is to follow, but Xinhua quoted Zhang as saying that the country would “basically meet its goal.”

Hitting the target seemed unlikely under the economic stimulus plan which increased energy use across the country and saw China’s energy intensity rise 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, but the government introduced drastic measures later on in the year to stand by its commitment.

In the latter half of 2010, the central government issued strict orders which led to the closures of over 2,000 steel and cement mills and other factories with poor environmental controls. Local governments also introduced rolling power cuts in residential and commercial areas.

China’s target is to achieve a 40 percent to 45 percent cut in energy intensity against 2005 levels by 2020, but the specifics are still unclear. The next five year plan to be announced in March is expected to focus on clean tech and renewable energy investment. Chinese media expect that the plan will aim to reduce consumption by a further 17.3 percent by 2015.

China is hoping emerging clean-energy industries will reduce its ever-growing need for imported oil and gas and guarantee economic growth and jobs.

Zhang also said China has cut coal use by nearly 2 billion tons over the last five years by replacing outdated thermal power plants with environmentally-friendly ones and by pushing clean energy. China has already said it will spend RMB5 trillion (US$755 billion) on clean energy over the next decade to lift the non-fossil fuel component of its supply to 15 percent of primary energy demand by 2020, up from 8 percent in 2009.

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