An international project has helped cut 1.1 million tons of
carbon dioxide emissions in China annually by encouraging township
and village enterprises (TVEs) to adopt energy efficient
These "green" TVEs are mostly in the cement, brick, coking and
metal casting sectors, which are estimated to be responsible for
one-sixth of China's total carbon emissions, said the project's
initiators with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and
the Ministry of Agriculture.
The achievement was announced yesterday at an international
forum on rural energy efficiency held in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province.
It was a successful demonstration of how TVEs in developing
countries can transform from heavy polluting and energy consuming
to clean and energy efficient roles, said Khalid Malik, UN resident
coordinator in China.
UNDP statistics show that TVEs, which account for 30 percent of
China's gross domestic product, consume 30 to 50 percent more
energy on average than State-owned enterprises using new
The US$18.5 million project started with nine pilot sites in Shaanxi, Sichuan and Zhejiang provinces, and spurred
the replication in 118 TVEs nationwide, with 400 more expected to
follow suit soon.
A number of clean technologies have been introduced to the
industries through the project, as they help both lower costs and
Zhejiang Shenhe Cement Co Ltd, one of the pilot sites, has
reduced about 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year by building the
country's first waste heat power generation plant, which collects
waste heat from the cement kiln to generate electricity for a
Frank Pool, a New Zealand-based independent sustainable energy
consultant, said that its success was attributed to a logical and
realistic design, in which national and local governments, TVE
bosses and an entrustment loan facility were able to interact
"The project identified that there are still large untapped
energy efficiency potentials in the four TVE sectors in China," he
wrote in the final evaluation report for the project.
"In particular, there is a major challenge remaining to update
the 100,000 brick kilns throughout China that provide 95 percent of
local rural construction materials."
Improving energy efficiency of TVEs is part of the job to
promote rural energy efficiency, which remains one of the
priorities the Chinese government is committed now and in the
future to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, said Wei Chaoan,
vice-minister of agriculture during the forum.
"Once the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer is improved by 1
percent, 2.5 million tons of coal equivalent will be saved," he
(China Daily May 17, 2007)