1. 12/1/2008 The Sallan Foundation | News & Views …
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By: Stephen Hammer & Elizabeth Balkan
Taming the Concrete Dragon?
Ac c ording to the rec ently published World Energy Outlook, 80% of China’s energy use oc c urs in
c ities, reflec ting the dramatic population and ec onomic shifts that hav e oc c urred in that c ountry
in rec ent dec ades.
Written by Guest Authors China’s growing urban energy use has global pric e impac ts. The c ountry ’s heav y relianc e on c oal
to fuel urban power demand also has major env ironmental c onsequenc es both direc tly in these
Dec . 1, 2008 c ities and in rural c ommunities where the c oal is mined or turned into elec tric ity . Rec ently ,
Taming t he Concret e Dragon? emissions from China’s c oal power plants hav e been blamed for degraded air quality in Americ an
By : Stephen Hammer & Elizabeth and Canadian c ities, as the plume of emissions blows ac ross the Pac ific Oc ean.
There are many way s to explain growing urban energy demand in China. Automobile ownership
Oc t. 1, 2008 rates in Chinese c ities hav e inc reased dramatic ally , reflec ting rising personal inc ome lev els. The
Green Zoning c ountry where bic y c le usage was until rec ently ubiquitous now fac es signific ant motor v ehic le
By : Caroline G. Harris traffic jams, forc ing some loc al authorities to grapple with the question of whether to c ontinue to
assign separate traffic lanes to bic y c les. Should c ar ownership rates begin to approac h lev els
Aug. 1, 2008 c ommon in Americ an c ities, China’s c ities c ould literally bec ome huge parking lots.
Int ernat ional Influenc es on
Rising household inc ome also manifests itself in growing ownership rates of c onsumer applianc es.
Cit y Sust ainabilit y Plans
Between 2000 and 2007, air c onditioner ownership around S hanghai nearly doubled, with the
By : Gail Karlsson
av erage household now owning two air c onditioning units, making that c ity ’s steamy summers
more bearable. S imilar stories c an be told in other munic ipalities.
Jul. 2, 2008
Grow ing Green Collar Jobs in
Air c onditioning use and the inc reased ownership of other c onsumer applianc es like c omputers
and mobile phones, hav e helped driv e per c apita elec tric ity use in the urbanized c ore of S hanghai
By : Joanne Derwin
from 113 kWh in 1990 to 803 kWh in 2005. Just to put this in perspec tiv e, New York City ’s per
c apita residential elec tric ity demand was 1662 kWh in 2005.
Jun. 5, 2008
USGBC t o Acc redit Green-
Loc al Energy Polic y Trends
Building Cert ifiers
Will urban energy demand growth c ontinue unabated, or are loc al authorities on the c ase? While
By : John Tepper-Marlin
most c ities in China lac k formal energy polic ies or c omprehensiv e sustainability plans along the
lines of New York’s PlaNYC, that’s not to say they ’re not thinking about these issues. Muc h of the
May . 2, 2008
energy polic y foc us in China’s c ities has emphasized reduc ing the energy intensity of loc al
Sust ainabilit y In Commercial
ac tiv ities, as a response to a national mandate outlined in c entral gov ernment’s 11th Fiv e-Year
Buildings–Bridging The Gap
Plan. Under the plan, prov inc es and c ities must reduc e by 20% the amount of energy required to
From Design To Operat ions
produc e one unit of gross domestic produc t.
By : Mic hael Bobker, Adam Hinge,
Om Taneja Energy sec urity c hallenges – in the form of periodic blac kouts or brownouts – were one of the
driv ing forc es behind this mandate, as demand growth has outstripped the national power
Apr. 7, 2008 sy stem’s ability to deliv er elec tric ity to c ities on peak summer demand day s sev eral times ov er the
Energy Efficiency in NY C: The past few y ears. As rec ently as 2004, loc al authorities forc ed the Volkswagen and General Motors
Problem of Split Incent ives v ehic le produc tion fac ilities in Shanghai to shutter operations for sev eral day s bec ause of the dire
By : Kate Bashford loc al elec tric ity situation.
Feb. 1, 2008 Cities hav e responded to the energy intensity mandate in different way s. Some hav e established
Cont rac t ors Want ed limits on the c oldest allowable air c onditioner settings. The c ity of Rizhao in south China has
By : Wendy Fleisc her aggressiv ely touted the benefits of solar hot water sy stems, promoting them so thoroughly that
99% of residential households reportedly hav e one or more units on their rooftops, balc onies, or
Dec . 3, 2007 exterior walls. Other c ities in China are foc using heav ily on transport-related energy use,
The St at us of LEED in NY C- dev eloping new bus rapid transit sc hemes and subway s to keep people out of their c ars and
Posit ive Lessons reduc e loc al pollution lev els. A few hav e taken more dramatic steps, forc ing large priv ately owned
By : John Tepper-Marlin energy -c onsuming businesses to shut down altogether or enc ouraging them to reloc ate outside
of the c ity .
Oc t. 1, 2007
The Healt hy Sc hool and t he S hanghai has pursued an aggressiv e energy strategy , reduc ing loc al energy intensity by 84%
Sust ainable Cit y sinc e 1985. Rapid growth in the less energy -intensiv e serv ic e and financ ial sec tors is one
By : Stephen Boese explanation for this dramatic drop, as is a c onc erted effort to shut down the most ineffic ient
fac tories loc ated around the c ity . Giv en that S hanghai’s ec onomy has slowly been transitioning
Jul. 31, 2007 away from heav y manufac turing, the amount of energy c onsumed in c ommerc ial businesses and
The Green Manufac t uring residential buildings is bec oming a muc h more prominent part of S hanghai’s energy pic ture. One
Sc ene rec ent study estimates that these buildings c onsumed approximately 32% of elec tric ity used in
By : Sara Garretson the c ity in 2004, but giv en the phenomenal lev el of c onstruc tion oc c urring in Shanghai eac h y ear,
this number must be rising rapidly .
May . 30, 2007
Building Energy Polic ymaking a Challenge at t he Loc al Level
Energy & Environment al Realit y
For a v ariety of reasons, reduc ing building-related energy c onsumption is a c hallenging
proposition,. From an institutional perspec tiv e, c entral gov ernment’s energy polic ies hav e been
By : Peter Fusaro
written in a deliberately v ague manner, allowing for implementation flexibility ac ross prov inc es
and c ities in dramatic ally different soc io-ec onomic or geographic c irc umstanc es. This c an impede
Apr. 16, 2007
loc al authority ac tion to promote green buildings, howev er, out of fear that loc al polic ies may
Plant -Based Heat for Y our
leapfrog c entral gov ernment’s ac tual intent. For munic ipal offic ials seeking to adv anc e within
prov inc ial or c entral gov ernment, ov erstepping one’s bounds c an be a real c areer killer.
By : John S . Nettleton
Within loc al gov ernment, planning and dev elopment responsibilities tend to be split among sev eral
Mar. 1, 2007
different agenc ies, eac h of whic h reports to different Vic e May ors and gauges suc c ess in
The Color of M oney
different way s (e.g., Plan, Plan, Plan! v s. Build, Build, Build!). The planning permit approv al proc ess
By : Jon Lukomnik
c an be c onv oluted, inv olv ing muc h bac k and forth negotiations between the dev eloper and the
loc al authority . Sev eral dev elopers we interv iewed in S hanghai last summer suggest it is possible
Jan. 4, 2007
to negotiate alternativ e zoning rules for an indiv idual parc el of land. Unfortunately , this c an lead to
Saving Energy in Exist ing
a patc hwork of dev elopment ac ross the c ity , making energy sy stem master planning more diffic ult
Resident ial Buildings
at the c ity lev el.
By : Ric hard Leigh, P.E. & Eduardo
Market impediments also slow the push for green buildings. China has a long history of artific ially
depressing energy pric es to fac ilitate ec onomic dev elopment. Loc al authorities do hav e the
Nov . 1, 2006
ability to modestly raise rates abov e national lev els – a step Shanghai Munic ipal Gov ernment took
1400 on Fift h - Birt h of 21st
2. 12/1/2008 The Sallan Foundation | News & Views …
1400 on Fift h - Birt h of 21st
just a few months ago – but these pric es are still a bargain c ompared to what market pric es would
Cent ury Const ruc t ion in
otherwise dic tate, making it diffic ult to promote v oluntary ac tion by real estate dev elopers.
By : The Full Spec trum Team
Building energy effic ienc y adv anc es c an also be c ontingent upon loc al building prac tic es.
Although it is c ommonplac e to install large HVAC sy stems c apable of serv ing all building tenants in
Sep. 27, 2006
c ommerc ial properties, residential properties in Chinese c ities south of the Yangtze Riv er are
To Move M ount ains, Fix
generally built as a shell, without any c entralized heating or c ooling sy stem. The owners of eac h
Market s — An Economist 's
unit are instead expec ted to outfit their unit ac c ording to their own needs, desires, and budget.
Agenda for Sust ainable NY C
Large residential buildings are easily identifiable bec ause of the number of small, less effic ient
By : Charles Komanoff
heating and c ooling units affixed to the exterior of the building.
Aug. 29, 2006 Cultural fac tors may also explain loc al gov ernment’s hesitanc y to be more proac tiv e on green
Make Room for Green Work building efforts. After dec ades of forc ed limits on c onsumer produc t av ailability , households are
By : Jenifer Bec ker now exerc ising their buy ing power from fully -stoc ked shelv es. Some c ommentators argue that it
has bec ome c ulturally unac c eptable for loc al authorities to reinstate c ommand-and-c ontrol
Jun. 30, 2006 polic ies telling the public whic h energy -using tec hnologies they c an and c annot buy when
What is DG and Why Should We outfitting their homes.
By : Mic hael Bobker Cause for Opt imism?
The green building news is not all bad, howev er. Shanghai Munic ipal Gov ernment has been
May . 24, 2006 instrumental in pushing for the design and dev elopment of the Dongtan Ec o-City on nearby
Beyond Pilot Projec t s: Chongming Island in the middle of the Yangtze. The plans are impressiv e, with buildings in the
Mainst reaming High new dev elopment antic ipated to use but a frac tion of the energy c onsumed by other buildings
Performance Building at t he around the c ity . While there are c onc erns that shov els hav e y et to break ground despite three
Cit y of New Y ork Depart ment y ears of planning, China has c learly prov en its ability to mov e amazingly quic kly on large
of Design and Const ruct ion c onstruc tion projec ts when it so c hooses. Ask any rec ent v isitor to a downtown S hanghai hotel,
By : City of New York DDC and they ’ll tell y ou stories about waking up in the middle of the night from noise assoc iated with
the 24-hour work sc hedule on a new sky sc raper under c onstruc tion next door. Tianjin Ec o-City
Feb. 27, 2006 outside of Beijing ac tually did break ground in Oc tober; it too c alls for highly effic ient residential
Transat lant ic Energy housing and c ommerc ial properties and a green power supply for these buildings.
By : Stephen A. Hammer, Ph. D
More good news appeared in early Nov ember, when China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural
Dev elopment signed a c ommitment with a S hanghai-based NGO known as JUCCCE (the Joint US -
Jan. 2, 2006
Transparent Green China Cooperation on Clean Energy ) to dev elop a new energy polic y training program for the
By : Dav id Bergman may ors and v ic e-may ors of Chinese c ities. Columbia Univ ersity ’s Urban Energy Program is play ing
a c entral role in that program, aiding with the dev elopment of the c urric ulum and dev eloping c ase
Nov . 1, 2005 studies profiling China-relev ant energy effic ienc y initiativ es implemented in c ities around the
Soft Energy St asis world. Building-related topic s will be an important foc us of the training, whic h ov er the next three
By : Charles Komanoff y ears will introduc e more than 300 may ors and v ic e-may ors (representing hundreds of millions of
people) to prov en urban energy polic y and program strategies. Vendors and polic y experts
Aug. 9, 2005 inv olv ed in these programs will trav el to China to partic ipate in the training, so they c an direc tly
A New Normal for NY C: answer the questions of loc al offic ials c onc erned about how to implement these ideas within
Mainst reaming High China’s unique regulatory , c ultural, tec hnology , and market c ontext.
Giv en China’s v orac ious energy appetite, getting urban energy planning “right” is of c ritic al
By : Jeremy Reiss
importanc e to all of us. The new may oral training program will help bring some of the best ideas
from around the world to the table, and we’re exc ited to help support this important initiativ e.
Howev er suc c ess will also require profound c hange in how dec isions are made at different lev els
TORCHLIGHT ARTICLES of gov ernment, , and the c urrent ec onomic downturn will prov ide us with important new insights
Written by Nanc y Anderson, Ph.D.
about where energy ranks on the c ountry ’s priority list during hard-times. The news so far
indic ates that energy effic ienc y projec ts will be a priority of c entral gov ernment’s giant ec onomic
Oc t. 30, 2008
stimulus pac kage. If true, this bodes well for those who want to see China’s “c onc rete” dragon c ut
The Deep Green Quart et
its energy appetite to a more manageable and env ironmentally sustainable lev el.
Aug. 26, 2008
We’ll report bac k next y ear with some observ ations from the first round of the may oral training
Memories of Next Summer
program, and with other energy news that we’re seeing on the ground in other Chinese c ities.
Jun. 26, 2008
Can't Wait Dr. Stephen Hammer is Director of the Urban Energy Program at Columbia University’s Center for
Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy ( CEMTPP). He can be contacted at
Apr. 30, 2008 sh2185@ columbia.edu. Elizabeth Balkan was formerly a researcher at CEMTPP; she currently
If Climat e's The Quest ion, Is consults on a range of China energy sector-related initiatives.
St ic ky t he Answ er?
Posted on Dec ember 1, 2008 07:45 AM
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