China, Technology and the Environment: Chinese National Energy Commission is established
China has established the National Energy Commission for better coordination in formulating energy strategy and development planning, said an announcement released by the General Office of the Chinese State Council recently.
The National Energy Commision (NEC) will be composed of 21 ministers and directors from different departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Energy Administration (NEA) and the central bank, and will determine national energy development strategy, address significant issues concerning energy security and energy development and coordinate major programs of domestic energy development and global cooperation.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is the director of the commission, and Vice Premier Li Keqiang is the deputy director. Zhang Ping, director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Zhu Zhixin, deputy director of the NDRC, Finance Minister Xie Xuren, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Zhang Guobao, head of the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA), are all members of the National Energy Commission.
China’s Economic Observer News reports that although China established the NEA in 2008, the central government has lacked the ability to implement a unified energy policy, as responsibility for the energy sector is currently dispersed among a number of departments.
Industry analysts say China’s announcement means that energy is recognized as paramount to the future development of the country, now the world’s second-largest energy consumer.
“The establishment of the NEC shows the government has raised energy issues to an unprecedented level,” said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, China Daily reports. “Such a super ministry, which centralizes the powers of different ministries, can help China make better use of its energy resources.”
A research report by accounting firm KPMG shows that electricity consumption in China grew 12.5 percent annually between 2000 and 2008. The high growth rate is expected to continue through 2020.
China’s demand for gasoline also continues to skyrocket. Last year for the first time China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest auto market, with a 59 percent year-on-year sales increase.