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City meets efficiency targets

SHANGHAI improved its energy efficiency by 3.78 percent last year, meeting its annual target, and the city expects increased efficiency this year, an official said yesterday.

The city's target was to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 3.6 percent last year, part of a national five-year program to cut energy intensity by a fifth by next year.

"We could have done better if it hadn't been for the financial crisis," said Zhou Ya, chief economist of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission. That's because Shanghai's property and financial industries - sectors that use less energy - were hit harder by the crisis.

Shanghai's energy use per head is still relatively high compared to the rest of the nation. The city had completed 55 percent of its five-year, 20-percent reduction by the end of last year, and this progress is among the best in the nation, Zhou told a seminar hosted by the National Development and Reform Commission and France's Schneider Electric SA.

Nationwide, energy intensity dropped 10.1 percent between 2006 and last year, halfway toward meeting the five-year target with two years to go. The government's 4 trillion yuan (US$585 billion) stimulus package to boost investment could make the five-year goal harder to meet, said Kang Yanbing, an energy researcher at the NDRC.

The city aims to have all its coal-fired power plants installed with equipment to capture sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, before the World Expo in May next year, Zhou said.

Shanghai will install two ultra-supercritical coal-fired generating units, 1,000 megawatts each, by early next year, bringing the city's total to six. Such plants burn less coal and emit less carbon dioxide for each unit of electricity generated.

Guy Dufraisse, president of Schneider China, said he expects more cooperation with the Chinese government and companies to help cut emissions, spur growth in energy efficiency and develop new business models. The company has signed an accord with the NDRC to help train high-energy users in efficiency across China.


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