From the Lab to the Marketplace Ten Years Later, Energy Efficient Technologies from Research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley Lab logo (left) with six rows of gray dots transitioning to a line art drawing of a cityscape and residential houses.

Energy Efficiency in China

For almost two decades, Berkeley Lab has had a unique and extensive relationship with the energy community in China. With substantial international experience, Berkeley Lab has helped China facilitate the adaptation and deployment of key energy efficiency policies and technologies. Berkeley Lab's China Energy Databook, going into its seventh version, is acknowledged to be the most comprehensive and authoritative sourcebook of its kind. Energy labels and appliance standards in China, programs developed with the support of Berkeley Lab, will save an estimated 1143 TWh of electricity by 2020 and 301 million tons of carbon emissions. The Lab was also instrumental in establishing important new institutions to deal with China's energy problems, including the China Sustainable Energy Program and the Beijing Energy Efficiency Center. Today Berkeley Lab's work with China focuses on research, analysis, supporting China's 2010 intensity reduction target, efficiency programs in industry and promoting energy-efficient buildings and associated equipment.

Two graphs illustrating China's share of world CO2 Emissions, 1950-2000.

China is the second largest energy consumer in the world after the U.S. Of actual energy consumption shown here, 66% is coal, 23% is oil, 8% is hydropower, 3% is natural gas.

(Left) The first edition of the China Energy Databook (online and on a CD); (Right) The China Energy Group brochure cover.

(Left) The first edition of the China Energy Databook (online and on a CD) was published in 1992 and is acknowledged to be most authoritative sourcebook of its kind. (Five major revisions through 2004.)

(Right) The China Energy Group (photo shows the Group's 2006 brochure) was formed in 1988 at Berkeley Lab.

In 1988 Berkeley Lab organized and participated in a major China-U.S. conference on energy demand, markets and policy in Nanjing. After the conference, representatives from China's Energy Research Institute of State Planning Commission asked Mark Levine, a Berkeley Lab scientist working on energy efficiency standards in southeast Asia, to stay longer and establish a collaboration. Initiating Berkeley Lab's unique relationship with China, Levine brought the first Chinese scientists to Berkeley in 1989.

In what rapidly became an active exchange program, Berkeley Lab formed close ties to energy efficiency advisors to the Chinese government. In 1990, the program produced the first-ever assessment of China's energy conservation activities outside of China.1 In 1992, Berkeley Lab researchers published the China Energy Databook, a highly acclaimed report revealing China's remarkable achievements in efficiency as well as identifying huge unmet opportunities in major industries such as iron and steel. The China Energy Databook is now in its sixth edition and is available electronically.

A collage of images including household appliances, workers in a factory, a city skyline and a lake. A schematic illustrating the Mode of Collaboration between LBNL, the U.S. Government, the Chinese Government, Other national labs, universities, NGOs and international organizations, their Chinese counterparts and Foundations. A chart illustrating the potential savings from efficient power supplies in China.

When Levine had an opportunity to meet with the group of leaders who set product standards for China, he made an agreement with them: Berkeley Lab would provide the necessary training to Chinese policy-makers, and the Chinese group would develop new, internationally compatible energy efficiency standards, starting with refrigerators. Although the Chinese State Bureau of Technical Supervision (SBTS) issued the first set of energy efficiency standards in 1989, they were fairly lax and unevenly enforced. Throughout the 1990s, Berkeley Lab collaborated with the Chinese in research, initiated a major appliance standards training program, and provided support for development of 11 minimum efficiency standards. Berkeley Lab also provided technical assistance to the development of China's voluntary energy efficiency label and the creation of an energy-efficiency information label.

Berkeley Lab scientist Joe Huang has worked with China's Ministry of Construction in a similar way since the mid 1990s to develop building energy efficiency codes for all of China. Now that every region and type of building is covered, Huang helped develop China's first window efficiency labeling system. Lynn Price is providing support for policy-makers on industrial energy efficiency.

Since Berkeley Lab helped found the Beijing Energy Efficiency Center (BeCon) in 1993, the Lab has supported and collaborated with BeCon's director, Zhou Dadi, who has become a prominent figure in energy policy in China. Berkeley Lab and Zhou worked to bring the recent unprecedented rise in energy use in China and associated problems to the attention of the Chinese government. As a result, the Communist party announced in late 2005 that China would aim to reduce the energy intensity of its economy by 20% by 2010.

Chinese government officials and industries have already approached Berkeley Lab for support in meeting this ambitious goal. Because 60% of China's energy is consumed by industry, Berkeley Lab scientist Lynn Price's efforts to develop energy efficiency programs for industry—initiated with voluntary programs in the iron and steel industry in Shandong—are to be expanded and replicated throughout the country. Lab researchers are presently advising the entire city of Shanghai and working with the top 1000 energy consuming enterprises in China to assist them to meet the 2010 target.

1 "China Energy Group; Sustainable Growth Through Energy Efficiency."