The deputy director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Xie Zhenhua, recently expressed doubts the country would meet its energy conservation targets. The culprit: Unrestrained growth in energy-intensive industries like construction, steel and chemicals. According to the state-run English-language daily, the former SEPA head made his comments in an online interview:
Xie said some measures, such as eliminating or reducing tax rebates for high energy-consuming and resource-intensive companies, and requiring heavy polluters to improve their waste-treatment facilities, had been introduced to cool the sector, whose growth has been partly driven by export demand.
“But it will still be tough for China to hit its target,” he said.
The target requires China to use less than 1 ton of coal equivalent for each 10,000 yuan ($1,300) of GDP by 2010, compared with 1.2 tons in 2005. “If China maintains its annual GDP growth at 10 percent until 2010, it will have to save 600 million tons of coal equivalent,” Xie said. [Full Text]
By comparison, China’s current plans call for coal equivalent savings of only 200 million tons.
The article doesn’t say how much energy heavy industries consumed. According to a recent presentation at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by Wang Lan, a professor at the China Building Materials Academy, construction consumes a full third of China’s energy and accounted for 8 million tons of standard coal last year.