This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 22, 2005

International Funding Helps Shape China's Energy Future

As China's hunger for energy steadily grows, both the World Bank and the United Nations have recently announced plans to support China's progress toward sustainable energy solutions. On June 17th, the World Bank approved a loan of $87 million to the People's Republic of China for the financing of the "Renewable Energy Scale-up Program," which will finance a 100-megawatt wind power plant and a 25-megawatt biomass energy facility. The program will also provide grants for renewable energy projects, and is supplemented by a grant of $40 million from the Global Environment Facility. See the World Bank press release.

In early June, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entered into a 12-year program that will using a sustainable, market-based approach to support China's efforts to reduce its energy use in industry and buildings. According to the UNDP, China's gross domestic product is expected to quadruple by 2020, but the country wants its energy use to grow at only half that rate. To achieve that goal, China must operate more efficiently. Currently, China uses 2.4 times more energy per unit of gross domestic product than the world does on average, according to the UNDP. See the UNDP press release.

A report issued earlier this year by the Earth Policy Institute demonstrates how quickly China is growing: the country is now the world's top consumer of grain, meat, steel, and coal, and is second only to the United States in oil consumption. Between 1994 and 2004, China's use of oil has doubled. But according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China also instituted a renewable energy law in February, creating favorable policies for achieving China's goal of using renewable energy for 10 percent of its energy needs by 2020. The Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit working to increase the supply and use of renewable energy, is working with China to implement the law. See the press releases from the Earth Policy Institute and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as the March 5th and April 6th press releases from the Center for Resource Solutions.