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Energy Conservation Focused

Chinese and foreign analysts urged the government to impose energy conservation as one of the central pieces of the long-term energy policy Monday.

Without effective energy saving, China cannot sustain a long-term energy supply and will have to pay huge costs for environmental pollution, analysts said in a presentation of the World Energy Outlook 2004 report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

Noe van Hulst, director of the Long-term Co-operation & Policy Analysis of the IEA, said booming industrial production in China is driving up its energy demands and emissions.

Under the business-as-usual scenario, China's oil imports will soar from around 2 million barrels a day at present to almost 10 million barrels a day in 2030, almost equivalent to three quarters of the country's domestic demand.

A sound industrial policy -- which focuses on improvement of energy efficiency and conservation -- however, could help lower China's oil imports by 12 per cent from the above prediction by 2030, said Hulst.

Dai Yande, deputy director of the Energy Research Institution under the National Development and Reform Commission, said China's energy growth is inevitable since the energy consumption per capita in China is only half of the world average.

If the current consumption pace continues, China may use the equivalent of 3.2 billion tons of coal energy by 2020, almost double China's energy consumption last year, according to research by Dai's institution.

With a sustainable energy system, the consumption can be reduced to the equivalent of 2.4 billion tons of coal which China can afford, said Dai.

Dai maintained that China still has lots of potential to increase energy efficiency and conservation.

Among the equivalent of 1.7 billion tons of coal China consumed last year, at least the equivalent of 400 million tons of coal could be saved, should more efforts be put into the conservation, said Dai.

Afflicted with the energy supply shortage since last year, the central government raised the issue of energy conservation and efficiency as a strategic priority.

But Dai said more efforts should be put into the implementation.

(China Daily November 2, 2004)

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