The Australian Alliance to Save Energy recently welcomed RAP Senior Advisor David Crossley as a guest speakers at the Second Australian Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Sydney. As part of a panel on Transforming Markets for Greater Energy Efficiency, he highlighted China’s energy efficiency accomplishments for key stakeholders in the fields of government, research, energy suppliers, NGOs, and regulators.

Since the 1980’s, the Chinese government has established a series of wide-reaching energy conservation and energy efficiency policies. As a result, energy intensity has steadily declined since then, with a decrease of 19% from 2006 to 2010. China has taken several approaches to achieving savings of this magnitude. These include a) the creation of Energy Conservation Supervision Centres to inspect and levy fines against local facilities that fail to comply with efficiency goals, b) the 1000 Enterprise Program, which requires the top energy-consuming enterprises to achieve energy savings, c) establishing energy efficiency building codes, d) creating a new energy services industry, and e) imposing end-use energy efficiency obligations on its grid companies (electricity suppliers). As China moves towards a more market-based economy, the policies and programs it uses to achieve increased energy efficiency are adapting. Time will tell whether these new mechanisms will be as effective as existing policies in advancing China’s energy intensity reductions.