Danish energy firm has lessons for China

Updated: 2013-07-16 17:40

By Liu Xiangrui in Guiyang (China Daily)

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 Danish energy firm has lessons for China

Zhao Kezhi (left), Guizhou Party chief and governor, Li Jinhua (center), vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Gerhard Schroeder, former German chancellor, attend the opening ceremony of the Eco-Forum Global in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, on Friday. The theme of the ongoing event is "Green economy and inclusive growth in a transformational world". Wang Jing / China Daily

After many years of green development, Guiyang, capital city of southwestern China's Guizhou province, is starting to attract ecologically friendly industries.

As a city with rich natural resources, a fragile karst environment and a relatively underdeveloped economy, Guiyang has long sought to transform its mode of development.

"Guiyang has been a pionneer in ecological development around the nation, and it echoes the concept of sustainable development advocated by the central government," said Alfred Che, vice-president of Danfoss China, on Friday during his second appearance at Guiyang's annual Eco-Forum Global, an international event that has been held since 2009.

Danfoss, a leading Danish energy technology company, has built one of its six Chinese bases in Guiyang.

Because the public quality of life is improving greatly in Guiyang, there is an increasing demand for heating despite the city's relatively short winter, Che said. He said his company sees great investment potential in Guiyang's trend toward environmentally friendly development.

Guiyang has been listed several times as one of China's low-carbon cities. Its goal of achieving "a green rise" has paid off, further driving the transformation of the city's development mode.

In the first half of this year, its GDP reached 68.6 billion yuan ($10.7 billion), a year-on-year increase of 15.7 percent. It ranked first among nearly 20 capital cities with the strongest GDP growth during the period.

"Although Guiyang is relatively lagging behind economically, it still has a late-development advantage if it chooses the right path of development," Che said. "In this sense, Guiyang can be a leader in low-carbon economy in China if it plays its role well."

Che also suggested that Guiyang could learn from the experiences of Denmark in terms of green energy.

Denmark has been a leading country in Europe in new energy and the reduction of carbon emissions. However, it was not always a leader. It used to have an energy structure that was largely dependent on fossil fuel like that of China today.

Denmark was hit by the first global energy crisis in the 1970s and started a energy revolution afterward.

"The country acted and built a strong new energy industry," Che said. "Guiyang has the same advantage in that respect, and the local government has been seeking a new development mode."

Peter Rathje, managing director of a sustainable development program in Denmark, introduced his experiments in Sonderborg, a Danish city with a population of 77,000, in 2007.

The program, known as Project Zero, is based on the results of strategic research on sustainable development by some 80 experts in Denmark.

The aim of the project is to achieve zero carbon emission by 2029 through energy efficient technologies, district heating programs and renewable energy.

They have already cut carbon emissions by 80 percent. The project has also created more than 1,000 jobs in ecological projects. Denmark's national plan to end all carbon emissions by 2050 is based on their plan.

Rathje said Chinese cities are incredibly interested in their progress. About every two weeks, representatives of different cities and provinces visit Sonderborg to learn about their project.

He observed that industries in Guiyang have largely started to steer away from traditional sectors, such as the mining of minerals, and he said Guiyang has a grasp on green solutions, including green energy, water conservation and waste disposal.

"I learned Guiyang is taking this responsibility and is ambitious to become a leading city in eco-development, but it has to make a specific target and set an agenda for their commitment."


 Danish energy firm has lessons for China

The audience listen attentively during the event. Wang Jing / China Daily

(China Daily 07/28/2012 page14)