China's Energy Strategy: Economic Structure, Technological Choices, and Energy Consumption

By Xiannuan Lin | Go to book overview

effective energy-saving technologies, and facilitating technology transfer and information exchanges among enterprises. Most managers would agree that improved energy efficiency is desirable. What they want to know is how this can be achieved in the most cost-effective fashion, without negatively affecting other, often more important, objectives of the company, such as profitability and product quality. Access to information and technologies, therefore, is a key to the success of an energy-conservation program.

Finally, there were several favorable macroeconomic and technological conditions for energy conservation. As real GDP grew at an average rate of about 10 percent a year, the demand for steel products in China was rising rapidly. Growing demand induced the iron and steel industry to expand existing facilities and/or build entirely new facilities, which provided many opportunities to introduce energy-saving technologies. Furthermore, China's steel industry upgraded its technologies in the 1980s primarily by technology transfer from advanced plants to less-efficient ones and by adopting technological advances already pioneered abroad. The stagnation and restructuring of the steel industry in developed countries in the 1980s allowed China to import secondhand equipment or facilities at relatively low costs. Energy-conservation activities in China's iron and steel industry between 1981 and 1987, partly by design and partly by coincidence, appeared to be the right projects implemented in the right place at the right time.


NOTES
1.
Unless otherwise cited or noted, all the material presented in this chapter is based on the data and information Professor Karen R. Polenske and I collected during our field study in the summer of 1992 on the energy technologies and conservation measures in China's iron and steel industry.
2.
An alternative technology to the blast furnace operation, which has not been applied in China, is direct reduction of iron ores. The principal direct reduction method utilizes a countercurrent shaft furnace, which uses reformed natural gas as fuel and either coarse ore or pelletized concentrates as ore feed.
3.
Cold charge is the fraction of cold scrap in the total metal inputs (i.e., molten pig iron and cold scrap) charged into steelmaking furnaces.
4.
See table 6.12 of this chapter for details on steel output by production processes in 1981 and 1987.
5.
Specific energy consumption refers to energy consumption per unit of output.
6.
Although many blast furnaces in China are small and old, their operations are fairly efficient. Both the coke rate and utilization coefficients are comparable to those in advanced countries.
7.
Other factors accounted for the remaining 5 percent of the intensity difference between Chinese and Japanese steel producers.
8.
This story was originally reported in the Liaoning Daily.

-161-

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China's Energy Strategy: Economic Structure, Technological Choices, and Energy Consumption
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2 - Energy in China's Economy, 1981 and 1987 13
  • Notes 36
  • 3 - Accounting for Energy-Use Changes: A Structural Decomposition Analysis 39
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Energy Effects of Production-Technology Changes 95
  • Notes 126
  • 6 - Energy Conservation in Action: A Case Study of the Iron and Steel Industry 129
  • Conclusion 158
  • Notes 161
  • 7 - Summary and Conclusion 163
  • APPENDICES 173
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 199
  • About the Author 204
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