Energy consumption per unit of GDP last year fell for the first time since
2003, according to official figures - in a clear signal that conservation
measures are beginning to pay off.
Despite 11.1 percent GDP growth last year, energy consumption per unit of GDP
fell by 1.33 percent for the whole year, compared to a 0.8 percent rise in the
first half. Energy usage was 9.61 percent higher than in 2005.
The encouraging news was repeated in the first five months of the year, with
energy consumption per unit of GDP falling a significant 2 percent over the same
period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.
is growing in a way that is less wasteful and less damaging to the environment,
NBS head Xie Fuzhan told a press conference.
The decreases, however, fell short of meeting the national goal of a
The country has set a target of 20 percent reduction in energy consumption
per unit of GDP from 2006 to 2010, roughly equivalent to 4 percent each year.
"The situation will add to the pressure (on reduction of energy usage) in the
coming years," Xie said.
Except Beijing - which saw a drop of 5.25 percent last year - all provinces,
municipalities and autonomous regions failed to meet the 4-percent goal. But 17
saw figure drop by more than 3 percent.
Economic restructuring remains slow and the service industry - which consumes
less energy - has lagged behind energy-guzzling heavy industries, which is the
main reason for the failure to meet energy targets, Xie said.
China has implemented a series of measures to cut energy consumption, such as
abolishing tax rebates for export of high energy consuming products, but it will
take time for impact to be felt, Xie said, adding that distorted energy prices
are also a factor.
The ineffective legal framework and lack of consensus among different regions
and departments are also an important reason, Xie said.
Northwest China's Qinghai Province registered the highest energy consumption
per unit of GDP, with the index rising by 1.51 percent, according to the NBS.
All the 29 other provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions witnessed a
Figures for the Tibet Autonomous Region are not yet available.
"The energy mission is tough but not impossible. We can definitely achieve
the target if the whole country makes greater efforts," Xie said.
(China Daily 07/13/2007 page1)