Online from: 2007
Subject Area: Environmental Management/Environment
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Article citation: Wenke Han, (2009) "Guest editorial", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 3 Iss: 1, pp. -
About the Guest Editor
Research Professor and is graduated from Xi’an Jiaotong University with bachelor degree in 1982. Now he is the Director General of Energy Research Institute, and the Director General of the Center for Energy Conservation Information Dissemination of National Development and Reform Commission. He majors in researching energy development strategy and energy policy. He has led or is much involved in many key national research projects on energy development strategy and planning, sustainable energy policy, energy industrial policy, energy technology development, sustainable energy development strategy for China West, power system reform, oil and natural gas market analysis and projection, international oil prices and energy security, energy conservation and energy efficiency, etc. As an influential researcher in fields of energy economy, he gave a lecture to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on building a resource conservation society in 2006. And he also reported the energy issues to the Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the NPC, the CPPCC, and the agencies of the central and local governments. He has been a visiting scholar to the Center for Energy and Environment Policy of University of Delaware, and the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of US Department of Energy. The main publications by him include China Energy Issues, Energy Strategy for Building a Well-off Society in an All-round Way by 2020, China Energy and Sustainable Development, China Energy Consumption Structure Trends and Its Upgrade, Development Strategy for China West Region, Study on Building Inner Mongolia National Energy Strategic Base, China Green Lights Program and Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling, Development Report on China Green Lights Program, etc. He also serves as the Director General of Energy of China magazine and its editorial board, a Member of the National Energy Expert Advisory Committee, part-time Professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University, Director of China Energy Research Society and the Investment Association of China.
I am delighted to present the Special Issue of the International Journal of Energy Sector Management on China. In recent times, the global attention on China has significantly increased due to the increasing energy needs of the Chinese economy and related energy supply issues and their global influences. Since China adopted the policy of transforming its economy, the energy sector has played an important role to support the economic growth of the country. The country has been successful in maintaining a high-economic growth rate over the past three decades through industrialisation and by becoming the preferred global supplier of manufactured goods and services. As a consequence, the size of the energy sector activities has tremendously increased: for example between 1980 and 2005, the primary energy demand has almost quadrupled, and the present forecasts suggest a doubling of the primary energy supply between now and 2030. In light of this development trend, the country is determined to significantly increase the share of clean energy and improve energy use efficiency to address the challenge of a coal-dominant energy structure. Contrary to the size of its energy supply, per capita energy supply in China is only 1.44 toe, well below the world average 1.8 toe/capita. Poverty eradication and improvement of people’s living standard bring challenges for the energy sector – already the power sector is facing the tremendous challenge of keeping pace with the high-demand despite adding new capacity every year at a speed that has never been seen anywhere in the world in the past. The oil and gas industry is now looking outward leaving behind the era when domestic supply was sufficient to meet the local needs. At the same time, the economic activities are spreading spatially as well to ensure a better distribution of wealth in the country, which in turn brings new challenges for the infrastructure development. The country is at the cross-roads at present and managing these challenges will be essential for its successful continuation of its economic and social transformation. The special issue tries to capture some of these challenges faced by the Chinese energy sector.
Over the past one year or so, we have worked with various authors to develop this Special Issue. Although we received a number of papers, through the peer-review process we have decided to include five papers in this issue. These papers cover various areas of interest – effects of growth on the local economy, energy security, environmental issues related to coal use, emissions trading, and the renewable energy development in China. As usual, we could have included many more papers on other pressing issues but we had to prioritise and select a few given the practical constraints of issue size, timing, quality, etc. We have tried to capture the emerging and topical issues that are presented from a new perspective or having a major implication of influence on the future development. We believe this selection will provide the readers with an interesting insight about the developments taking place in the Chinese energy sector.
The first paper looks at the policy for coal from the perspective of environment protection in the coal mining industry in China. Zhu and Cherni present the developments in the coal mining industry in the era of market reform and their environmental impacts. Through semi-structured interviews, they collected primary information which was then analysed following the grounded theory to determine the factors affecting the environmental impacts. They conclude that the market reforms failed to integrate the environmental concerns of the coal mining industry and suggest that the reforms should be deepened and properly designed to ensure better accounting of environmental concerns.
Lu uses a computable general equilibrium model to analyse the effects of energy investments in the Western region on the local economy and local emissions. It has been a government policy to promote energy sector investments in the Western region to reduce income inequity and ensure a well-balanced growth. This paper attempts to capture the effects of such a policy prescription. Lu finds that the energy sector investments indeed increase the disposable income of the local population but this comes with an environmental cost as the level of emissions increases.
In their paper, Wang and Li present the renewable energy development in China. The authors first present the status of renewable energy use in China by providing an overview of all major renewable energy forms and then consider the state of manufacturing capability of renewable energy technologies in China. The paper analyses the issues related to manufacturing capabilities in this area and suggests strategies for their removal.
Wang et al. consider the possibility of controlling the environmental pollution through the introduction of an emissions trading system. While the traditional command and control is widely used for environment protection, the authors provide examples of pilot use of the idea of emissions trading in China for controlling sulphur emissions in the power sector and in industries. They suggest that the country may benefit from the wider application of the trading mechanism to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The paper explains why the developments in relation to GHG control lags that of sulphur emission control in China and calls for further research in this area.
Finally, Liu and Jiang take up the issue of energy security, which is emerging as a main concern for the country and will gain in importance over the next 20-30 years. The authors consider that ensuring affordable oil supply will be the main concern for China in the coming years. The paper suggests that China should improve the functioning of its domestic energy market and pursue energy management practices to reduce its exposure. The paper recommends undertaking extensive research and development efforts to convert its economy and society to a low-energy consuming one.
Surely, I would like to thank the authors of the published papers and the reviewers for their sincere efforts in completing the tasks within short notices. Without their extensive support this issue cannot be published. I would also convey my appreciation to those authors whose papers could not be included in this volume and wish them success in carrying their works forward. This issue could not be possible without the extensive support of my able assistants, Ms Songli Zhu and Professor Jianguo Zhang. They have been instrumental in carrying this issue through from the initial stage of developing the call for papers through to the final submission of the papers. Ms Zhu has also contributed a paper in this issue. I sincerely appreciate their efforts and wish them all the success in their career.
As a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of this journal and as the Guest Editor of this issue, I hope that the readers would find this issue interesting and informative.
Wish you all a happy reading of this issue.