|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Since 2000, the PRC's electricity use has been rapidly increasing at annual growth rate of over 13%. By 2004, serious power shortages had become persistent, and more than half of the provinces in the country had to curtail power supplies during the peak periods in summer. PRC added 231 GW of new power generation capacity in 3 years (2004 - 2006).
Furthermore, approximately 80% of the electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants, generating substantial amounts of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. More than half of the cities in the country fail to meet the national ambient air quality standards. According to preliminary estimates made by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the PRC emitted 6.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2006, exceeding the United States as the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions.
The GDP of Guangdong in 2005 was CNY2.24 trillion ($280 billion) which was more than 12% of PRC's GDP and the highest among the provinces and municipalities. The annual electricity consumption (267 TWh in 2005) has been rapidly growing at nearly 15% since 2000. Since 2001, Guangdong has suffered severe power shortages. The power shortage was about 5,000 MW in the summer of 2006. Guangdong also has significant acid rain problems: in 2005, acid rain frequency was about 55%, and 18 cities covering about 85% of the areas in the province, experienced acid rain. Since 2000, most of Guangdong's large cities have an increase in the number of days a year when the ambient air quality fails to meet the national air quality standards. The power shortage and environmental problems, if not resolved quickly, would hinder the economic growth of the province.
To address the power shortage and environmental problems, both the PRC and Guangdong Provincial Governments have given the highest priority to energy efficiency. Controlling the demand side of energy will offset the need to increase supply due to increasing economic output. Based on the analysis of the ADTA part B consultants, the cumulative annual electricity savings that could be realized after 10 years of retrofitting program in Guangdong is 41.2 TWh. During the period 1998 - 2000, the Guangdong Energy Conservation Center, a provincial government agency, implemented the Electricity Conservation Fund, assisting enterprises to improve energy efficiency; it was able to achieve an energy savings of about 7.9 TWh/year, and was closed in 2006.
The energy saved by installing energy efficient equipment, in the aggregate, will reduce the need for building and burning fuel in a conventional power plant; thus the aggregation of efficient equipment is being referred to as an EPP. This IP addresses one part of demand side management (DSM), i.e., the retrofitting of existing equipment with a more energy efficient one. The collective sub-projects will produce an EPP that will help improve environmental quality as it avoids the air emissions, including greenhouse gases, associated with conventional power plants in the PRC. In the PRC's 11th Five-Year Plan, the Government has set an aggressive energy efficiency target for reducing energy consumption relative to economic growth by 20% between 2006 and 2010. Guangdong, being a relatively energy efficient province, has a target of improving energy efficiency by 16% between 2006 and 2010. The Guangdong Provincial Government (GPG) has made this EPP investment program one of its top 10 programs in the province.
GPG recognizes that the benefit from energy efficiency is a public good, but cost of implementation is high, hence it proposes to extend support to catalyze adoption of energy efficiency measures by the energy consumers. It proposes to establish a new Guangdong Energy Efficiency Fund that will promote implementation of energy efficiency sub-projects in various ways, such as, provide incentive for energy savings based on retrofitting with more efficient equipment, validation and verification of energy savings, counter-guarantee for sub-loan repayment, subsidized project management cost, and market EPP, etc. It expects this fund to be financed from various sources, such as budget allocations, multi-lateral donors, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) revenue, etc.