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With Premier Wen Jiabao’s announcements on the 12th Five-Year Plan (12th FYP), China is tasked with improving the national energy intensity of its economy (energy per unit of GDP) by 16% over the next five years.1 Attention now turns to allocation of local-level targets. For the 12th FYP, the Chinese government has indicated that it seeks to use a more scientific methodology to better estimate the varying potential for energy saving across the provinces, to facilitate a structural shift to low-carbon development, as well as to achieve an equitable distribution of targets. What would such a methodology look like, and what targets would result from it?
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with collaboration from China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI), has developed a sector-based methodology for target allocation among the provinces. The methodology utilizes measurable indicators of each province’s energy and economic conditions to show transparency and effectiveness in meeting the national goal. Findings and analysis are available in a March 2011 report and highlighted here.2
When I recently testified at the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, a phrase that came up in regard to China’s energy policy was that China is pursuing “an all-of-the-above strategy,” in other words generating supply from as many sources as possible. (full hearing details) There is nothing terribly remarkable about the idea that China is pursuing diversified supply. However, the implication of the discussion was that China’s approach is focused on the supply side, and that seems backwards.
On April 5, 2011, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and ChinaFAQs held a briefing on China’s increasing role in advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate policies. China is a leader in the deployment of clean energy technologies, and the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels. The United States and China cooperate on a number of clean energy initiatives, producing benefits for both countries.
Testimony by Deborah Seligsohn Before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power Committee on Energy and Commerce, April 4, 2011Posted by ChinaFAQs on Apr 11, 2011
In my testimony today, I will start by discussing both where China is now and its plans for the upcoming five years, and then I will talk about some of the business opportunities this creates for other countries, including the United States, that want to compete in new energy technologies.
China invested $54.4 billion on clean energy in 2010, $20 billion more than the U.S., according to the latest report from Pew Charitable Trusts and Bloomberg New Energy Finance released today. This is one-fifth of a global market that is growing at a record 30% pace. The competitive position of the U.S. has “deteriorated” so much that it slipped down to number three in private investment, as small-scale solar installations launched Germany into the number two spot. Pew and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s take-away: policies matter as China and Germany had strong ones and US policies stagnated.
Professor Hu Angang, Director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University, published a piece on the Xinhua website last October that outlined the process for developing the 12th Five-Year Plan. The plan (available in Chinese here, also see an English summary of the energy and environment components here) was adopted at the close of this year’s National People’s Congress, March 14.
Professor Hu’s summary describes a step-by-step process involving thousands of officials, stakeholders and experts. The article itself also shows how the Chinese government has become more interested in informing the public about government processes.
We provide a summary of Prof. Hu’s description below:
With the adoption of its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has cemented key long-term strategies for greening GDP, controlling energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and key pollutants, and capitalizing on the growing low-carbon economy (full Chinese plan). Environment and climate are given the most prominent position ever in a Five Year Plan, aspirations that will be backed up by a number of concrete planning documents over the coming months.