By Yao Lu
Jul. 5 – To accelerate the transformation of China’s economic development model and strengthen the country’s energy saving and emission reduction efforts, China’s State Council issued “The 12th Five-Year Development Plan for the Energy Saving and Environmental Protection Industry (guofa  No. 19, hereinafter referred as ‘the Plan’)” on June 16. The plan outlines the current status of the energy saving and environmental protection industry in China, as well as identifies the key fields within the sector. Moreover, the plan points out the current problems facing the industry and offers possible solutions.
Current situation and trend of development
The average annual growth rate of the energy saving and environmental protection industry has remained consistently high in recent years. In 2010, the output value of the industry reached RMB2 trillion and accounted for 28 million employees. It is anticipated that the annual growth rate of output value for the energy saving and environmental protection industry will be kept at 15 percent or above in the following years till 2015 and, by then, the output value is expected to reach RMB4.5 trillion.
According to the Plan, there are three key fields within the energy-saving industry, namely:
The key fields of environmental protection industry are:
The key fields for the resource recycling industry include comprehensive utilization of ore resources and solid waste.
In recent years, China’s energy saving and environmental protection industry has grown rapidly, but the scale and strength of the industry has not yet met the needs of the nation’s economic and social development, and some prominent problems responsible for restricting the industry’s development remain in existence. In particular, the industry lacks world-leading, cutting-edge enterprises; most of the companies operating in the industy are SMEs largely dependent on policy support and financial subsidies from the government.
In addition, industrial innovation has been unsound and there remains a lack of core technologies as key equipment is still required to be imported from abroad. In addition, incomplete policy mechanisms and an inadequate service system both contribute to the current low level of development for the energy saving and environmental protection industry.
The plan offers solutions to the aforementioned problems by formulating a series of policy measures in the hopes of creating a sustainable environment for the rapid growth of the energy saving and environmental protection industry during the 12th Five Year Plan period.
The main policy measures taken are as follows:
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