Recommendations: Promoting efficiency via China’s low-carbon energy tech catalogue

Promoting efficiency via China’s low-carbon energy tech catalogue

With the publication of the Outline of China’s Energy Conservation Technology Policy in 2006, China has accelerated the promotion of key energy-saving technologies. The National Key Energy-saving Technologies Promotion Catalogue was launched in 2006 and was first released in 2008 (hereinafter referred to as the “Catalogue”). The Catalogue aims to promote energy-saving technologies across twelve main sectors, ranging from transportation to communications. The Catalogue is managed and collected by the Division of Environmental Resource Protection of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). CECEP Consulting Co., Ltd. and the National Energy Conservation Centre (NECC) are responsible for the technical review and update. The catalogue has been reviewed and updated annually until 2018. The Catalogue has been updated a total of 10 times since 2008 and has featured 260 energy-saving technologies.

Since its publication, the Catalogue has effectively promoted the application of key energy-saving technologies and laid a good working foundation for achieving the binding targets of energy conservation and emission reduction. As a result of the Catalogue, other ministries and provincial governments have developed and published further technology catalogues to promote the uptake of energy saving technologies.

As the Catalogue has played an increasingly important role in the promotion of energy-saving technologies in China, few studies or assessments have been carried out to identify the barriers and solutions to further improve and develop the existing Catalogue. This study, led by the Carbon Trust and UNIDO, has contributed to this objective by analysing both the Catalogue in China and case studies of other international technology lists to provide tangible and operational solutions for the existing national catalogue in China and to facilitate the uptake of energy-saving technologies in China.

After an analysis of 14 technology lists worldwide, the report focuses on 6 in-depth case studies. These are the Energy Technology List (ETL) in the UK, the EP-PLUS and the Limitative Technology List in Belgium, the BCTL in the Basque country, the Environment List MIA/Vamil in the Netherlands, the Triple E Product Register in Ireland and the EBRD Technology Selector for 26 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. Models and frameworks have been used to assess the technology lists/catalogues as well as their supporting financial mechanism. In the process, in-depth desk-based research and over 20 stakeholder interviews were carried out to evaluate metrics such as the rationale, target audience, content, management, technology screening & evaluation process, fiscal incentives, promotional channels, impacts, transparency, drivers and supply chain.

The report is composed of two parts: Lists of Energy-Efficiency Technologies and Equipment; and the Fiscal Instruments to Promote Energy Efficient Products and Energy Technology Lists. The outcome of this report is a set of recommendations for China’s national technology catalogue: considering whether the scope and content of the Catalogue be expanded or amplified; if it is necessary to include manufacturer information; if a user-friendly online platform would make the Catalogue more accessible and how to set a clearer process/indicators when screening for technologies. Until now, the state has not issued any type of supporting financial policy for the technologies in the Catalogue, nor has it licensed or issued a certificate to the technology suppliers in the Catalogue. Therefore the report also discussed whether to link direct financial incentives to the Catalogue and how this could best be done. International best-practice on financial mechanisms such as tax incentives, subsidies and green credits are analysed to understand best practise and any the most suitable incentive for the Catalogue.

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