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Implementing China's national energy conservation policies at state-owned electric power generation plants

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  • Zhao, Xiaofan
  • Ortolano, Leonard
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    Abstract

    China's 11th Five-Year Guideline identified energy conservation as one of the country's fundamental policies and established a mandatory target: 20% reduction in national average energy intensity by 2010. Despite the various policies, laws, and administrative reforms to support energy conservation, China fell behind schedule for meeting its conservation targets in 2006 and 2007. Using a combination of available literature and an interview-based case study, this paper examines the implementation of energy conservation and investigates impediments to achieving China's conservation goal in the electric power generation sector. Three key impediments are detailed: (1) municipal governments' incentives to overlook conservation-related central directives primarily because of budget pressures linked to financial decentralization, (2) procedural obstacles in the form of time required to obtain project approvals for high-efficiency power generation units, and (3) financial obstacles making it difficult for power generation enterprises to raise capital for energy conservation projects. An interview-based case study of a state-owned coal-fired electric power generation company demonstrates the influence of the aforementioned obstacles. While procedural obstacles are notable, they can be managed. However, electricity pricing reforms and/or stronger subsidy programs will be needed to address the financial obstacles facing Chinese power generation companies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 6293-6306

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:6293-6306

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    Keywords: Energy conservation implementation Electric power sector China;

    References

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    1. Herschler, Stephen B., 1995. "The 1994 tax reforms: The center strikes back," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 239-245.
    2. Jin, Jing & Zou, Heng-fu, 2005. "Fiscal decentralization, revenue and expenditure assignments, and growth in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 1047-1064, December.
    3. Fisher-Vanden, Karen, 2009. "Energy in China: Understanding Past Trends and Future Directions," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(3), pages 217-244, December.
    4. Hang, Leiming & Tu, Meizeng, 2007. "The impacts of energy prices on energy intensity: Evidence from China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2978-2988, May.
    5. Ma, Chunbo & He, Lining, 2008. "From state monopoly to renewable portfolio: Restructuring China's electric utility," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1697-1711, May.
    6. Wu, Yanrui, 2003. "Deregulation and growth in China's energy sector: a review of recent development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1417-1425, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Zhao, Xiaofan & Li, Huimin & Wu, Liang & Qi, Ye, 2014. "Implementation of energy-saving policies in China: How local governments assisted industrial enterprises in achieving energy-saving targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 170-184.
    2. Chen, Jinjin, 2011. "China's experiment on the differential electricity pricing policy and the struggle for energy conservation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5076-5085, September.
    3. Zha, Donglan & Ding, Ning, 2014. "Elasticities of substitution between energy and non-energy inputs in China power sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 564-571.

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