The pulp and paper industry in China has been developing rapidly since 2000 with an average annual increase in production of about 12 percent per year through 2010. In 2008, China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest paper producer. China manufactured 11.2 percent of the world's virgin pulp and 24.5 percent of the world's paper in 2010. Although more than 18 million tonnes (Mt) of inefficient production capacity will be phased out during the 12th Five-year Plan (FYP) (2011-2015), China's total paper production is estimated to grow from 92.7 to 116 Mt during this period.
The total final energy consumption of China's pulp and paper industry was 750 petajoules (PJ) in 2007, representing 11 percent of global pulp and paper industry final energy consumption in that year. As energy prices and climate change awareness increase, improving energy efficiency is an effective way for the pulp and paper industry to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. During the 11 FYP, the average energy intensity of China's pulp and paper industry dropped by 18 percent. The energy intensity of the pulp and paper industry is predicted to drop by 20 percent by the end of 2015 compared to the intensity in 2010. Nonetheless, a wide gap exists between China and other developed economies in the best available technologies in use in the pulp and paper sector.
This study assesses the impact of 23 energy-efficiency measures that could be applied in China's pulp and paper industry. We analyze the fuel- and electricity-efficiency improvement potential of these technologies for the year 2010 using a bottom-up conservation supply curve (CSC) model. The fuel CSC model shows that the cost-effective fuel efficiency improvement potential for China's pulp and paper industry is 179.6 PJ, and the total technical fuel-savings potential is 254.3 PJ. These figures represent 26.8 percent and 38.0 percent, respectively, of total fuel used in China's pulp and paper industry in 2010. The CO2 emissions reduction potential associated with the cost-effective fuel savings is 16.9 Mt CO2, and the total technical potential for CO2 emissions reduction is 24.2 Mt CO2. The electricity CSC model shows that the total technical electricity-efficiency potential to 2,316 gigawatt-hours (GWh) or 4.3 percent of total electricity use in the pulp and paper industry in 2010. All of the electricity-efficiency potential is cost effective. The CO2 emissions reduction potential associated with the total electricity savings is 1.8 Mt CO2.
Sensitivity analyses for adoption rate, discount rate, electricity and fuel prices, investment costs, and the energy savings from each measure show that these parameters have significant influence on the results. Therefore, the results presented in this report should be interpreted with caution.