Accurate measurement first step to improving energy efficency


Hepeng Jia/Beijing, China 

China is to release energy measurement regulations in a bid to supervise industries’ energy saving efforts more strictly and accurately.

The news came from Han Yi, director general of the metrology department of General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), during his February visit to Shandong Institute of Metrology, the site of the first national energy metrology centre. 

Meanwhile, AQSIQ is to launch a nationwide scheme to inspect installations of energy measurement devices, and encourage energy auditing firms to conduct more business in industry.

Energy measurement

Calculating China’s energy consumption


In 2008, China achieved its annual target for the national energy saving for the first time, under a scheme which vowed to reduce the energy consumption per unit of per capita of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 20 per cent in the five years from 2006. This translates to a four per cent decline in energy use per capita of GDP each year.

According to the government report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao on 5 March at the annual plenary meeting of its National People’s Congress, energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 4.59 per cent in 2008.

But this figure is largely the result of the economic slowdown rather than a remarkable improvement in energy efficiency.

Jia Zhouping, an energy analyst at the Beijing branch of the Switzerland-based verification and testing certification firm SGS, says that one of the obstacles affecting enterprises’ efforts to save energy is insufficient energy measurement standards.

Currently, energy efficiency improvement in China is mainly calculated using an enterprise’s consumed electricity, gas or oil and their production volumes. There are then energy efficiency standards for some concrete production processes - such as how much energy should be consumed per tonne of cement produced - to help judge the energy efficiency of individual enterprises.

But this method of calculation cannot consider factors such as changing market prices of both raw material and products, which could change the production value. 

’The conventional measurement method can be used by enterprises to report to government whether they achieve the required energy efficiency rate, but it is key to encourage enterprises to integrate energy saving across all of their corporate activities,’ Jia told Chemistry World. 

He revealed that companies like his have assisted in drafting the energy measurement rule to better regulate energy use evaluation. 

In early March AQSIQ also announced that it will draft a technical standard for major energy product trades during this year.