Xi's call for 'energy revolution' supported

Updated: 2014-06-14 02:55

By DU JUAN (China Daily)

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President says security of supplies must be raised to a higher level

Experts reacted favorably to President Xi Jinping's call on Friday to accelerate China's energy production and diversity and to raise energy efficiency.

They said the leadership's resolve to seek an energy revolution will pave the way for more non-State companies to enter the industry and foster healthier competition in the sector.

Xi stressed that China must raise its energy security to a higher level as he presided over a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs to map out the next round of the "revolution in energy and production and consumption".

He also confirmed that more new nuclear energy projects will be launched soon in eastern coastal areas, based on higher safety standards.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economic Research at Xiamen University, said it is high time for the top leadership to launch China's new energy initiative.

It was doing so at a time when energy imports in the United States were on the decline thanks to its shale gas development, while China's dependence on imported oil and gas supply was still growing.

The situation is forcing China to try to safeguard its energy security, Lin said.

At Friday's meeting, Xi said the nation will continue to reform the energy industry to create effective competition and a market-based pricing mechanism.

Han Xiaoping, chief information officer at China Energy Net Consulting Co, an industry consultancy in Beijing, said the innovative part of China's ongoing energy revolution is to use market forces to strengthen energy security.

He said China has rich oil and gas resources "but its development still lags behind because the industry is to a great extent monopolized by just a few large corporations".

Han said he expects progress on China's reform and opening-up to free the industry from its shackles of "vested interests".

Xi also said that to ensure energy security, China needs to build up a diverse supply structure featuring multiple domestic channels, including clean and efficient use of coal and the development of new energy resources.

Meanwhile, it should strengthen international cooperation with an open mind.

Han said China has made great efforts to diversify foreign energy supply channels in the past few years and has achieved encouraging results, including a newly signed $400 billion natural gas import deal with Russia.

The success of the agreement with Russia is closely related to China's diversified gas production development in past years, he said.

Han also noted China's breakthroughs in shale gas output at the Sichuan basin, and coal gas and liquified natural gas projects elsewhere in the country.

At the energy meeting, Xi also urged that more new technologies be adopted on low-carbon emissions. He pledged greater efforts to reduce energy waste and to cap the nation's energy use.

"Energy-saving should be carried out in all processes and fields of social and economic development," Xi said.

Wang Zhaoli, general manager of Ista Measurement Technology Services (Beijing) Co, a subsidiary of the Germany-based metering company Ista, said cutting consumption is the best way to save energy and this requires widespread public education efforts.

The government needs to adopt stricter administrative measures to cut energy consumption in many areas, such as heating systems in residential buildings, Wang said.