The Joint-US China Cooperation on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) sponsored its 3rd annual Energy Forum on June 30, 2010 in Beijing. JUCCCE is an environmental NGO working to accelerate the use of clean, efficient energy in China through international cooperation. While this NGO is only three years old, it has accomplished a lot through its three key programs: energy smart cities initiative, smart grid, and consumer awareness. From June 24, 2010 until July 2,2010, JUCCCE cooperated with the National Academy of Mayors to put on a ten day training program for 20 mayors and 30 state owned enterprise leaders (in industries that consume a significant amount of energy, including petroleum, steel, aluminum, and aviation) on energy efficiency and building environmentally friendly cities.
The JUCCCE energy conference on June 30th afforded 4 mayors and 2 state owned enterprise (SOE) leadesr to share with the general public how second and third-tier Chinese cities and SOEs are meeting energy efficiency challenges. The speeches showed that major energy efficiency strides (contrary to the mainstream Western media coverage) are being made and is a top priority for these officials. The speeches from the four mayors also showed the friendly competition between mayors to draw investment, tourism, and media coverage to their respective cities. In addition to speeches from the mayors, other environmental experts from corporations and academia spoke on a variety of issues related to energy efficiency.
A round-up of the speeches from the forum:
Mr. Long Ya Wei, Assistant Governor of Tianijin’s Xiong District, shared that Tianjin has received an award for being an ecological demonstration city, and in October of 2010, his district will likely be recognized as a national level ecological city. Mr. Long Ya Wei also emphasized the importance of managing rural municipal solid waste treatment, which is often overlooked, as mayors focus its energy and resources on developing the city. Currently, Mr. Long Ya Wei and his team are exploring different methods to manage solid waste from the countryside.
Ms. Zhao Shu Mei (the only female mayor in the 10 day mayoral training program) is the Deputy Mayor from Zhejiang Province’s Jiaxing City. The mayor’s goals for the city include: 50,000 mu (1 mu = 667 acres), afforestation to reach 42%, and drinking water to reach level 3 (water level is ranked from 1-5, with 5 being very polluted and 1 being very clean). As with 60% of China’s 661 cities that face seasonal water shortages and over 100 cities that have severe water constraints, Jiaxing fits in both categories. While water pollution is not a major problem, supplying water to its 1.8 million people is a perpetual challenge.
Additionally, Jiaxing is also a demo city for green buildings and 50% of its buildings qualify for green building certification.
Mr. van den Berg, the marketing director of Philips Lighting stated that 75% of energy use is from cities. In cooperation with JUCCCE, Philips has donated 100,000 energy efficient light bulbs, in exchange for incandescent light bulbs, to young people in 6 Chinese cities this year.
Martin Schoenbauer from the United States Department of Energy emphasized the importance of clean energy cooperation between the United States and China. He pointed to eletric vehicles as an example; China is a leader in battery production and the US is a leader in motor controllers. In order to promote cooperation between US-China in the clean energy field, the US DOE has established the US-China Clean Energy Research Center, and $150 million will be spent in the next five years to deploy clean technology- CCS, clean transportation, and energy efficiency. Mr. Schoenbauer later moved to discuss building energy efficiency and cost savings. For example, in New York’s Hospital, $1.7 million is saved through retrofits. Building energy efficiency is even more important for China, given the fact that half of all new floors space is built in China, according to Mr. Schoenbauer.
Dow Chemical’s James Yan continued the conversation on building energy efficiency. According to Mr. Yan, the heat loss ratio in most apartment buildings are 40-45% heat leak from walls, 30-45% from windows, and 20-25% from roofs. For homes in northern China, heating in the winter time is a major use of coal. If 1 kg of coal is reduced, 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide can be reduced.
David Hathaway, the managing director of ICF, discussed energy saving programs in the US and China as potential paths to reduce carbon emissions. According to Mr. Hathaway, 52% of emissions are from buildings. The US uses the Energy Star program as a model to reduce energy use, and China has the Top 1,000 Enterprise Program, which sets energy reduction tragets for the top 1,000 energy consuming companies in China.
Mark Levine, senior scientist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab presented a lecture on cool roofs as a means to reduce carbon emissions. Cool roofs reflect large amounts of radiation and can cause temperature to decline, which reduces the need for air conditioning and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Currently, cool roofs exist in Greece, India, University of California, Davis, and a Wal-Mart in California. According to Mr. Levine, if all roofs in the world were replaced with white roof, there would be a 25 Gigaton of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to a 50% reduction in current levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
Mr. Sun Yu, Deputy Mayor of Shandong province’s Rizhao City, gave an overview of his city. While Rizhao only has a twenty year history, it has been growing at a rate of 15% for the last twenty years! The city has two economic development zones, and is also home to Rizhao Steel Co. Ltd, which produces 12 million tons of steel; however, the government and company has also spent several hundred million RMB in retrofit to reduce water consumption and sulfur dioxide emissions.
The last mayor to speak was Mr. Ma Han Cheng, deputy mayor of Ningxia Autonomous Region’s Shizuisha. Shizuisha is known for coal; it produces 20 million tons of coal. In 2000, Ningxia was the most polluted city in China, but now it is slowly in the midst of transforming its economy by shifting to the high tech industry, photovoltaic industry, and logistics industry. In 2002, it invested 1 billion RMB to treat the waste water of 793 plants. The mayor is working hard to improve the livelihood of the people and attract foreign investment to his region. Mayor Ma suggested that energy reduction targets should take into account the different conditions of the various cities in China.
The two state owned enterprises, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and China Space and Building Engineering, also discussed energy reduction measures through water savings, kitchen waste management, and electricity use.
The speeches from the mayors and state owned enterprise leaders informed the audience of the challenges and successes of China’s cities and enterprises moving towards a sustainable future. Collaboration and mutual dialogue between leaders in different industries, disciplines, and countries will be needed to combat some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.