China, Technology and the Environment: more energy efficient in 2010
China’s energy efficiency improved by a bigger margin in 2010 partly because local governments shut down some industrial capacity to meet year-end targets. The energy intensity, or energy use per unit of the nation’s gross domestic product, fell 4.1 percent last year, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said recently. It declined 3.61 percent in 2009.
The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, said that energy intensity fell 19.06 percent in the five years ending 2010 but the drop was slightly short of the government target of a 20 percent cut during the period.
Though energy intensity fell last year, total energy used rose 5.9 percent to 3.25 billion tons of coal equivalent, the bureau said. Coal consumption gained 5.3 percent, crude oil demand rose 12.9 percent, and gas consumption jumped 18.2 percent.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Chinese Internet users during an online conversation that the government aims to reduce energy intensity and carbon intensity by up to 17 percent in the five years ending 2015, the first time a top leader has given a target.
The goals for 2011-2015 are generally in line with China’s plan to cut carbon intensity – or carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP – by 40 to 50 percent by 2020 from 2005’s levels.China has vowed to lift the portion of non-fossil fuels in overall primary energy use to 15 percent by 2020.