The soaring oil price has become a driving force behind the
development of alternative energies, said leading people from
energy circles at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference 2006 on
The closing price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile
Exchange (NYME) skyrocketed to over 75 US dollars per barrel on
Friday, another new record since the founding of the NYME.
Zhang Guobao, vice minister in charge of the National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the forum held in
south China's island province of Hainan that a high oil price
brings about not only challenges but also opportunities.
It will not only promote the investment in world oil exploration
and production, but also that in alternative energies and energy
saving, he said.
Supporting Zhang's opinion, Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, chairman and
CEO of Degussa AG, said that major international chemical companies
including his own are searching for alternatives to relieve the
pressure caused by soaring oil price.
The Energy Policy Act of the United States issued in 2005 aims
to increase the annual consumption of fuel alcohol or bio-fuel to
7.5 billion gallons by 2012.
Jiro Nemoto, Honorary Chairman of NYK Line, said that as the
world's top oil importer, Japan has developed the highest energy
consumption efficiency in the world.
Citing statistics of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Jiro
Nemoto said that if the energy consumption of Japan for producing
one unit of GDP is denoted as one, then that of the European Union
is 1.6, the United States, 2.7, the Republic of Korea, 3.3, with
There is still a lot of inefficiency in China's industrial
structure and the energy consumption for producing one unit of GDP
is quite high when compared with developed countries, said Zhang
But looking at it another way, he said, it also leaves ample
room for China to improve its energy structure and efficiency.
China has made great efforts in developing alternative energies,
said Zhang. According to him, China's experiments of alcohol-mixed
gasoline in northeast and central China have made progress and the
NDRC is planning to expand it to other regions.
And the project to refine coal into oil by the Shenhua Group
Corporation Limited, one of China's largest coal producer, will be
completed next year, he said.
Speaking at a meeting on energy development on Thursday, Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao called for effective measures to ensure the
implementation of the government's energy saving and renewable
The meeting also asked major state-owned energy companies to
develop renewable energies, said Zhang.
(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2006)