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November 4, 2009

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Home » Business » Energy

Low-carbon economy a shared goal

DEVELOPED and developing nations can learn from each other in the pursuit of a low-carbon economy, a Chinese government official said in Shanghai yesterday.

China doesn't lag developed nations in terms of energy saving and a green economy, said Zhou Changyi, director of the energy saving department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

"While we can learn many aspects from developed nations, they should also learn something from us, such as water conservation," Zhou said in a speech during the New Path of China's Industrialization forum at the ongoing China International Industry Fair 2009.

He said industrialized nations and China are tackling different issues to combat climate change. The United Kingdom, for example, is concerned about transport, buildings and new energy in reducing carbon emissions. For China, the most urgent task is how to realize a new-type of industrialization and avoid the mistakes that other countries made when they industrialized.

As such, overseas exhibitors at this year's fair are showing ways to help China achieve low carbon emissions in the industrial sector.

Swiss power and automation technology group ABB called for a stronger focus on product life-cycle assessment, or LCA, which is used to study the environmental impact of a product from the research and manufacturing stage through its usage and recycling.

Tobias Becker, head of ABB's process automation division for North Asia and China, said LCA is an effective tool in helping manufacturing industries reduce carbon emissions.

LCA shows that industrial customers should focus more on a product's environmental impact throughout its life cycle instead of on its initial investment or ready-to-use stage. For example, a motor's initial investment accounts for only 3 percent of its life-cycle cost, while 94 percent goes to fuel consumption and the rest to maintenance.

Richard Hausmann, North East Asia CEO of Siemens, said: "The color of future industrialization will be green."

The German company recently announced it wants to receive orders worth more than 6 billion euros (US$8.8 billion) for intelligent power networks, or Smart Grid, over the next five years. Siemens has set a 20 percent market share target for the global smart grid business.

A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology, advanced sensors and specialized computers that save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability. The United States and China are considered the two biggest markets for smart grid.


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