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Green Buildings To Receive Subsidies

Bloomberg in Beijing – Updated on Feb 27, 2008 – SCMP

China, the world’s largest oil consumer after the US, plans to pay the construction industry 1 billion yuan a year in subsidies for buildings that use renewable energy sources.

The funds would encourage the use of solar, geothermal and biomass energy in buildings, said the vice-minister for construction, Qiu Baoxing. “The subsidy will continue for several five-year plans.”

Beijing is promoting the use of renewable energy to cut fuel costs. Premier Wen Jiabao aims to reduce the amount of energy used for each unit of production by 20 per cent in the five years ending 2010.

Each year, the mainland constructed buildings with about 2 billion sq metres of floor space – nearly half of the world’s total, Mr Qiu said. The government would promote the use of solar and geothermal sources to generate heat, and garbage to produce electricity, he said.

The cost of renovating existing buildings to make them energy efficient was about 100 to 200 yuan per sq metre, Mr Qiu said. Residents would take at least five years to make a return on the investment, he added.

Property owners would be required to reduce energy use in buildings, leading to at least 1.5 trillion yuan in renovations by 2020 and increased scrutiny of new projects, Mr Qiu said in January last year.

Most of the mainland’s 43 billion sq metres of existing building space fail to meet energy efficiency standards. Government planners expect to save 350 million tonnes of coal by 2020 by improving insulation and temperature control in existing and future buildings, Mr Qiu said last year.

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