- Through 2009, China was on track to meet its energy intensity targets. These targets called for a reversal of the trend of increasing energy intensity experienced between 2002 and 2005.
- China's carbon emissions intensity fell largely as a result of reduced energy intensity, demonstrating the important role of energy efficiency in the transition to a low-carbon economy. With additional carbon-specific policies, China could expect carbon intensity to fall faster than energy intensity in the future.
- Our initial analysis indicates that many of the policies implemented to meet the 11th FYP target are top-down administrative measures. These required significant financial and human resources and may not be the most cost-effective way to achieve future targets.
- Much of the low-hanging fruit for reducing energy intensity has been picked, for example, replacing old power plants with new, more energy-efficient plants. Further reductions in energy intensity during the 12th FYP period could impose higher costs on the economy.
- In the power sector, CO2 emission increased 28% during the first three years of the 11th FYP period, but primary energy use per kWh decreased as the efficiency of China's coal-fired generation capacity improved an average of 5%, primarily due to the closure of old plants and replacement by newer, more efficient plants. CO2 per kWh decreased 6.5% for the power sector as a whole due to this increased efficiency and the addition of low-carbon generation.
- In the industrial sector, carbon emissions and energy use per unit of industrial value added were, respectively, 14.8% and 13.3% lower in 2008 than 2005, reflecting slower growth in energy-intensive heavy industry relative to other subsectors, a shift to higher value added products, and significant efficiency improvements in several subsectors.
- In the building sector, energy use grew by 28% and carbon emissions by 25% from 2005 to 2008, primarily due to higher living standards and increased urbanization. At the national level, energy use per square meter of building stock increased, although this trend slowed in 2008. Policies targeting district heating in northern China delivered significant reductions in energy consumption per square meter.
- Energy consumption in the transport sector grew 25% between 2005 and 2008. While the energy intensity for most transport modes remained stable or improved slightly, the share of energy intensive transport modes such as road and air transport increased.
- Agriculture is the only sector in which direct energy-related emissions declined during the 11th FYP period. Non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions were stable, however, CO2 emissions embedded in fertilizer production grew, leading to a small net increase in overall agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions. China's forestry development, especially the large scale of afforestation, contributed significantly to the building of carbon sinks, adding 420MtCO2 per year on average to the current stock, an amount nearly four times of CO2 emission from direct fossil fuel combustion in agriculture and forestry.
Chapter 22 of the 11thFYP set the following strategies to meet the 20% energy intensity reduction goal: "The government shall strengthen policies that induce energy conservation and energy efficiency increase. Energy conservation can be achieved through structural changes (optimizing industrial structure and reducing the share of energy-intensive industries), technology improvement (developing and disseminating energy conservation technologies) and better management practices (institutional development and more effective regulation of energy production, transmission and consumption). Industries with priority for energy conservation are iron and steel, non-ferrous metal, coal, electricity, chemistry, building material and other energy-intensive industries. The implementation of vehicle fuel economy policies shall be enhanced and the inefficient old vehicles shall be phased out. Standards for alternative liquid fuels shall be developed to support the alternative fuel industry. The production and consumption of highly energy efficient products shall be encouraged."
Climate Policy Initiative is a policy effectiveness research and advisory service whose mission is to assess, diagnose, and support nations' efforts to achieve low-carbon growth. An independent, not-for-profit research organization with long-term support from George Soros, CPI has headquarters offices in San Francisco and regional offices in Berlin, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, and Venice.
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