Energy consumption growth may slow down in H2

08:02, July 15, 2010      

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Energy consumption growth in the second half of the year is likely to slow down as the government is planning tough measures against energy-intensive industries, sources said on Wednesday.

Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said in an interview with People's Daily in June that the government is considering measures like capping electricity supplies in some sectors, and ending subsidies provided to energy-intensive industries, to achieve the targeted 20 percent reduction in energy intensity between 2005 and 2010.

These moves will certainly improve the nation's energy efficiency, said analysts. But the nation also needs to consider market-based measures to make energy conservation more reasonable and sustainable, they said.

Some financial measures, like carbon taxes, could also be considered, said the sources.

There will be a slowdown in the growth of energy-intensive industries during the second half as the government will curb their expansion, said Zhou Dadi, a researcher with the Energy Research Institute under the NDRC.

He said the nation needs to "make drastic adjustments in its energy sector to achieve sustainable development".

However, it is still possible that China may surpass the United States as the world's largest energy consumer this year, he said.

China's energy consumption has seen an accelerated growth since 2000. If that pace continues, the country would consume nearly 8 billion tons of coal equivalent in 2020, over half of the world's current total energy use, Zhou told an energy conference in June.

The country's energy consumption is expected to account for over 30 percent of the global figure in 2020 even if it reduces energy intensity by 20 percent every five years from now on, he said.

China pledged to reduce its energy intensity by 20 percent in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2005-2010). Official statistics showed that China's energy intensity fell 14.38 percent from 2006 to 2009.

However, the figure rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, signaling the need to cut energy intensity for the rest of the year.

"With more stringent measures on the anvil, China is expected to achieve its 20-percent target", said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University.

But the nation must consider long-term strategies for energy-intensive industries, instead of taking administrative measures occasionally, he said.

Some measures to slowdown energy consumption have already begun to take effect, said analysts. For instance, the country's power consumption, an important barometer of the economy saw slowed growth in June due to lower demand from heavy industries.

Source: China Daily


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