Energy Efficiency in China: Glorious History, Uncertain Future

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
March 3, 2005 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Bldg. 90

From 1980 to 2000, China made remarkable achievements in energy efficiency.  By design, energy grew less than half as fast as the economy during the two decades.  There was not a single year during this period in which growth in energy approached that of GDP.  This achievement is extraordinary, for a variety of reasons (that will be described in the presentation).  China is the existence proof that a rapidly developing country can substantially reduce energy growth through design and implementation of energy efficiency policies.  Unfortunately all this has changed since 2001.  Energy in China now appears to be growing faster than GDP.  Electricity has increased at 40 GW per year, more than two 3 Gorges every year.  China's increase in oil imports is fueling almost all growth in international shipments of oil.  And all of this is dwarfed by the titanic growth in coal consumption (and greenhouse gas emissions): China now produces 2 billion tonnes of coal per year! This lecture will analyze the sources of the growth of energy demand in China and propose solutions.  This lecture will be a trial run for a continuing series of presentations that the author has made and will make to senior energy policy officials in China in the effort to work with Chinese colleagues to modify China's energy policies.

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