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China launches ambitious energy-saving plan
Updated: 2004-11-25 00:01

To cope with crippling energy shortage, China launched a comprehensive energy saving plan Tuesday, effective from now to 2020.

The plan is the biggest and most ambitious one of its kind in China's history, said Zhao Jiarong, director of the department of environment resources conservation under the National Development and Reform Commission at a news conference.

By 2010, China set the goal to consume 2.25 tons of standard coal when producing 10,000 yuan (1,200 US dollars) of GDP, 0.43 tons fewer than that of 2002, said Zhao. In 2020, the figure is expected to decline to 1.54.

China requires all the buildings built after 2006 to embrace new technology and methods that could save 50 percent of the energy consumption per square meter compared to now.

"We will promote central heating system in residences and public buildings, and charge all the habitants according to the meters equipped in each room, just as what we are doing with the electricity now."

 China will also transform existing buildings, especially hotels in northern China to reduce energy consumption, said Zhao. By 2010, the work will be finished in 25 percent of the big cities, 15 percent of areas in medium cities and 10 percent in small cities.

 To encourage the production of energy-saving equipment, China launched a package of programs.

 "We will come up with a list of energy-saving products and include them in the catalogue of government procurement," said Zhao.

Compared with the energy efficiency of developed countries, China has the potential to save 300 million tons of standard coal each year, said Zhao. China consumed 1.51 billion tons of standard coal in 2002.

Zhao attributed the high consumption to slow tertiary development, outdated equipment and poor management in the factory.

Statistics showed that the energy consumption amount per unit output of the tertiary is only 43 percent of that of the second industry. But the added value of tertiary accounted for only one third of the GDP in China, thirty percentage points lower than world average.

"Therefore, we should speed up the development of tertiary," said Zhao.

To make good use of China's resources, Zhao said the coal should primarily be used to generate electricity.

 "In the coal-fired power plants with de-sulfur dioxide equipment, the utilization ratio of coal is high and the sulfur dioxide pollution is reduced, " said Zhao.

Zhao said the petroleum should be used for chemical production, transportation and other non-substitute purposes.

"We should always try to use clean coal, natural gas to replace petroleum as the fuel," she said.

"We find that in developed countries, cars with low displacements are often encouraged for low pollution, but it is a pity that in some parts of China, this kind of car can not go on the speedway."

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