The nation’s stimulus package has benefited energy conservation and emission controls with energy used to generate growth dropping further in the first quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), writes China Daily.
Energy intensity, or the amount of energy needed to generate per unit of GDP, dropped 2.89 percent year on year from January to March. That compares with a drop of 2.62 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Overall energy consumption grew only 3.04 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier while the economy expanded 6.1 percent, the bureau said in a statement.
The NBS said the ratio of the services sector in the overall economy rose 1.6 percentage points, while the industrial sector dropped 1.9 percentage points. Also, the output of six energy-intensive industries fell 12.5 percent from the previous year. The figures show the stimulus measures have aided efforts to increase energy efficiency, cut emissions and promote economic restructuring, it said.
The government announced a USD586 billion stimulus package (see our blog article about worldwide stimulus packages) last November to prop up domestic demand and maintain growth. Of the USD34 billion the central government has approved on stimulus spending over the past two quarters, 10 percent went toward energy conservation, emission control and environmental protection projects, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.
Chi Fuling, president of the China (Hainan) Reform and Development Research Institute said that the government may even increase spending on energy saving and environment protection as it tries to facilitate industrial transformation.
According to the NDRC, the government has earmarked (USD):
- 1.9 billion over next three years to expand sewage and garbage disposal facilities to most townships;
- 640 million for tackling water pollution in major rivers such as the Huaihe and the Songhuajiang;
- 510 million for forest conservation;
- 370 million for energy saving projects.
China has pledged to reduce energy intensity by 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels; and chemical oxygen demand (COD), a key index of water pollution, and emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a main air pollutant, by 10 percent between 2006 to 2010.