China meets energy targets, evokes harsh moves on non-performers
China has slashed its energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by a fifth over the past five years, according to reports confirming the government successfully met its energy efficiency target for 2010.
The state-run news agency Xinhua reported Zhang Ping, director of China's economic planning body the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), had said the country would "basically meet its goal".
However, the government was forced to take drastic action to ensure that the five-year target was met after the country's energy consumption per unit of GDP rose 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of last year prompting the government to threaten closures. Wide-spread reports claimed that several plants were shut to meet the target, although this could not be confirmed.
China is aiming to reduce carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent against 2005 levels by 2020. Industry watchers, however, are waiting to hear what the country is planning to achieve in its next five-year plan with some speculating that it could aim to reduce consumption by a further 17.3 per cent by 2015. The final version of the five-year plan is to be announced in the first quarter of 2011 and is expected to include significant increases in clean tech and renewable energy investment.
In related news, South Korea has today announced plans to ramp up spending on renewable energy by 24 per cent as it looks to raise the contribution from wind and solar from about five percent of its energy mix currently to 11 per cent by 2020.
An emailed statement from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy to news outlets said the country would raise the budget from KRW808.4 billion (USD726m) to KRW1 trillion to provide financing for new renewable energy projects.
South Korea is Asia's fourth-largest economy, but is keen to reduce its dependence on crude oil and liquefied natural gas imports, as well as cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost its domestic renewables industry.