China Building Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap
Xu Wei, Director. Institute of Building Environment and Energy, China Academy of Building Research, China.
Sustainability has long been a theme in Chinese energy policy. Already in the 1980s, national commitment to improving energy efficiency led to a long-term decline in energy intensity seen nowhere else. China has the potential to become much more efficient, and the mandatory targets of the country’s Five-Year Plans (FYPs) provide guidelines for increasingly sophisticated measures.
With the rapid increase in the urbanization rate, coupled with the country’s strong GDP growth, living standards have risen in parallel, with the result that energy consumption in the built environment has grown rapidly in recent years. Since 2006, government has enforced strong policies to promote energy efficiency in the built environment, with remarkable achievements in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).
The 12th FYP sets a target of reducing energy use per unit of GDP by 16 % in 2015, compared with 2010. A variety of programmes and regulations support this target. In 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) promulgated the 12th Five-Year Building Energy Efficiency Plan, which covers the objective and all associated activities in the building sector.
This paper briefly describes the work that China has already done and will continue with in the building energy efficiency sector.
Background of Chinese building energy efficiency work
From 1989 until 2011, China’s average annual GDP growth was more than 9 %. From 1978, the urbanisation rate has increased from 18 % at a rate of one percent per year, and has reached over 50 % by 2011. The effect of these two factors is that more and more energy is used to achieve higher indoor air quality.
Starting from the 1980s, the national commitment to improving energy efficiency led to a long-term decline in energy intensity (energy use per unit of gross domestic product [GDP]) seen nowhere else. China has the potential to become much more energy-efficient, and the mandatory targets of the country’s Five-Year Plans (FYPs) provide guidelines for increasingly sophisticated measures.
The Ministry of Construction, now called the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), has published the national Energy Conservation Design Standard for New Heating in Residential Buildings standard, which marked the beginning of China’s building energy efficiency work. A series of plans, policies, regulations and codes followed.
Achievements during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010)
By the end of 2010, 95.4 % of new building work was complying with the building energy codes: 182 million m2 of residential buildings in the northern part of China had been retrofitted with heat metering and energy efficiency improvements; 33 000 large government office buildings and public buildings had completed building energy statistics, with 4850 having undergone full energy audits, over 6000 building energy consumption data records were open to the public, and 1500 buildings had installed on-line energy consumption monitoring.
City-level dynamic energy monitoring had been started in nine pilot provinces and cities and 72 energy-saving campuses. 386 renewable energy demonstration projects and 210 PV building integration projects had been finished. Central government was promoting renewable energy utilization in 47 cities and 98 towns, resulting in 1.48 billion m2 of building floor space supplied by solar thermal energy, and 572 million m2 of building floor space supplied by ground-source heat pumps. In rural areas, 342 401 houses were retrofitted for increased energy efficiency, and more than 600 central solar showers had been built.
Technology R & D Programs
In the 11th Five-Year Plan, the central government supports a series of R&D projects in building energy efficiency and green building sector.
Table 3: R&D program in building energy efficiency and green building sector in the 11th Five-Year Plan
To promote policy and set up demonstration projects, the Ministry of Finance and MOHURD have provided a total of 15.2 billion RMB (2.44 billion USD) to support the work of energy efficiency improvement in government office buildings and large public buildings, energy-efficient retrofit for existing residential buildings in China’s northern heating zone, demonstration of renewable energy application in buildings, and building-integrated photovoltaic and city-level demonstrations of renewable energy application. In addition, local finance has also been given substantial support: according to incomplete statistics, 6.9 billion RMB (1.11 billion USD) support was arranged by provincial government and 6.5 billion RMB (1.04 billion USD) support was arranged by city-level government for building energy efficiency.
4.85 billion m2 of newly constructed buildings implement the building energy codes, saving 46 million tce (tons of coal equivalent). 182 million m2 of residential building in 15 northern provinces have had heating system retrofits, saving 2 million tce. Utilisation of solar thermal and ground source heat pumps, using renewable instead of regular energy, save 20 million tce. With all the activities described above in 2.1 and 2.3, the building sector has achieved 100 million tce of energy savings in the last five years.
Building energy-efficiency roadmap during the 12th FYP
In 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) published the 12th Five Year Building Energy Efficiency Plan. This section briefly describes the objective and some of the activities.
By the end of 2015, building energy efficiency should have a total energy-saving potential of 116 million tce. Of this, the development of green building and implementation of building energy codes could have a potential of 45 million tce, heating reform and residential building retrofitting could have a potential of 27 million tce, large commercial buildings and government office building energy efficiency retrofits, together with better management and operation, could have a potential of 14 million tce, with a further potential 30 million tce from renewable energy and building integration.
• More stringent building energy codes. By the end of 2015, more than 95 % of buildings in the cold and severely cold regions in the northern part of China, and in the hot-summer and cold-winter zone, will be required to apply the latest national building energy code for new building design. The required energy efficiency of new urban buildings will be more than 30 % higher than at the end of the eleventh five-year plan (2010). Megacities such as Beijing and Tianjin will apply higher-level building energy efficiency standards, with the building energy efficiency level of new buildings reaching or approaching those of the developed countries with the same climate conditions. Finally, a number of low-energy and extra-low energy demonstration buildings will be constructed. By 2020, green buildings will account for more than 30 % of new buildings, with the energy efficiency level of construction and operation reaching or approaching that of the developed countries current level.
Expansion of existing residential building retrofits. In the northern part of the country, 400 million m2 of residential building heating improvements and energy efficiency retrofits will be accomplished, accompanied by the introduction of metering and charging for heat. In the hot-summer and cold-winter zone, pilot projects of more than 50 million m2 will be started. Establish and improve the large-scale public building energy efficiency supervision system. Determination of the energy consumption of large public building by metering and monitoring energy statistics, by energy audits and by monitoring of energy consumption. Determination of the baseline energy consumption of different types of public buildings, identification of key energy buildings and high-energy consumption buildings. Reduce the energy consumption of high-energy-consuming public buildings by ensuring that they operate efficiently. Retrofit 60 million m2 of high-energy-consuming public buildings. Over the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan, this work could reduce energy consumption by 10 %, and that of large public buildings by 15 %.
• Speedier and wider application of renewable energy in construction. Further to promote different renewable energy utilisation systems, including but not limited to solar energy-integrated buildings, ground-source heat pump systems, subterranean water-source heat pump systems, seawater-source heat pumps, sewage-source heat pumps. By 2015, aim to increase the use of renewable energy in buildings to 2.5 billion m2, saving 30 million tce.
• Large-scale implementation of green buildings. A total of 800 million m2 of newbuild green buildings. In new towns, more than 20 % of new buildings should be green buildings.
• Government management. With the Energy Conservation Law and Energy Efficiency Regulations for Civil Buildings as the main basis, promote development of departmental regulations, local laws, local government regulations and normative documents to support Chinese building energy efficiency legislation and regulations. Improve standards covering energy-saving technology in buildings.
Reprinted from Xuwei. China Building Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap.IEA HPC Newsletter, 2012, 4(30):16-18