Green-energy communities sprouting up

Updated: 2011-07-01 11:03

By Wang Yu and Li Xiang (China Daily)

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Green-energy communities sprouting up

Tianjin - As many as 100 cities powered by alter-native energy sources, 200 counties that get energy through unconventional means, 1,000 places demonstrating new energy uses and 10,000 towns relying on "green" energy are to exist in China by 2015, said Qian Zhimin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration.

"Against the backdrop of combating climate change and pursuing development in a way that saves energy and avoids harming the environment, the notion of a low-carbon town is becoming prevalent, and promising explorations have been conducted by a multitude of ... cities," Qian said.

"In recent years, test projects have begun for regions that will emit relatively little carbon and have been preliminarily tried out in five provinces and eight cities, including Tianjin," he said at a forum about carbon model towns in Tianjin.

At the forum, the Tianjin Yujiapu financial district was nominated as the "first low-carbon model town project" in the Asia-Pacific region, marking the start of the construction of a low-carbon town in Yujiapu. The Tianjin Yujiapu financial district will be the first low-carbon model town to exist in the Asia-Pacific region.

China will enter into a new stage of urbanization and urban development during the period of its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

Care should be taken to plan and build the proposed model communities in a way that leads to low emissions of carbon in the future.

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"We should intensify our efforts to promote energy conservation in transportation, build operations and illumination while promoting the use of solar energy and encouraging the use of vehicles that run on new types of energy," Qian suggested.

"Priorities should be placed on the development of public and rail transit and the construction of smart grids. We should also make cities more energy efficient."

Meanwhile, the amount of clean energy being consumed should be constantly increased, as should sources of "green" energy, such as natural gas, water, and radioactive materials. Meanwhile, renewable sources such as the wind, the sun and biomass materials should be exploited. There should also be an efficient and clean use of traditional fossil fuels. All of that will reduce the amount of carbon being released into the air.

Qian said the Chinese government has promised the world that it will try to increase the portion of non-fossil fuels being used to produce energy for primary consumption to around 15 percent by 2020.

By the same year, China is trying to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide - a gas linked to climate change - that is emitted within its borders for each unit of GDP by between 40 percent and 45 percent below what it was in 2005.

To cut carbon emissions as much as possible, even during the construction period, Yujiapu has researched low-carbon building techniques.

"Yujiapu is set to be a low-carbon financial district leading the nation," Liang Benfan, a senior researcher with the Institute of Urban and Environment Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily.

Li Bo, president of the Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Co Ltd (TIFI), which represents the main body for investment and operation at Yujiapu, pointed out that buildings in Yujiapu are being constructed according to green standards.

"Last year, we signed cooperative agreements with more than 60 low-carbon enterprises from home and abroad," Li said. "In accordance with the plan, gradual steps have to be taken to fully demonstrate (the project's) ability to be a model for low-carbon development."

From the very beginning of planning throughout the construction itself, Yujiapu relied on international design teams, drawing on experienced workers from world financial districts such as Manhattan and Chicago and the City of London.

And to ensure the project is built to emit as little carbon as possible, the planning and design of the project has been entrusted to a Japanese team.

So far this year, 260 enterprises have invested in the Yujiapu financial district and the total capital registered for the project comes to 60 billion yuan ($9.27 billion).


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