New Chinese understanding of energy consumption

Date: 20 August 2013

Air, sun and biofuel – the Chinese are massively investing in new sustainable energy sources. Green energy is in focus, but the authorities are very well aware that higher producing alone does not meet the rising energy demand. Energy saving initiatives are very much needed to satisfy the rapidly growing economy and reduce pollution.

Great signal
“ I see it as a very great signal that the Chinese authorities has finally realized that focusing on sustainable energy alone isn’t enough (..) It is just as important to improve the energy consumption that already exists“, says Anders Egeberg, CEO Cowi China. Through close cooperation with the Chinese authorities, Anders Egeberg experiences a growing interest for a much more effective use of every single energy unit. As a concrete example, Cowi and Danfoss have joined a project with a steel plant in Anchan. The goal is to use the waste heat from steel production, for example by reselling the heat to a district heating power plant. Cowi is responsible for the energy calculations and concept development, while Danfoss delivers the components.

Change in attitude
“It is pretty remarkable that a state-owned steel plant starts to care a great deal about energy savings. 2 years ago this wouldn’t have occurred, there has defiantly been a change in attitude.  Partly they are under political pressure to be more energy effective, partly they are having an economically tough time, and therefore it is important for them to generate some profit on the waste heat“, explains Anders Egeberg, and adds “ the current situation is a very interesting phenomenon where the forces of the market combined with political pressure get the ball rolling”. The new initiatives are definitely not made for the sake of foreign companies like Cowi or Danfoss. However, as the example with the steel plant in Anchan shows, the Chinese are eager to learn from the experienced Danish companies in the energy area.

FACTS – Chinese energy plans
• DKK 1.6 trillion has been allocated to sustainable energy in China’s 12th five-year plan which goes from 2011 to 2015
• An extra DKK 2 trillion are to be used on energy saving initiatives and reduction of pollution
• Besides the planned investments, green tech companies will enjoy favorable benefits like tax-reduction and direct subsidies
• The government has decided that the energy saving sector shall have an annual growth of 15 % and achieve a value of DKK 4 trillion in 2015. The goal is a 15 % share for sustainable energy of the total energy mix in 2020

(Source: Børsen, Thursday 13.08.13, p 22-23)