The Reality and Future Scenarios of Commercial Building Energy Consumption in China

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While China's 11th Five Year Plan called for a reduction of energy intensity by 2010, whether and how the energyconsumption trend can be changed in a short time has been hotly debated. This research intends to evaluate theimpact of a variety of scenarios of GDP growth, energy elasticity and energy efficiency improvement on energyconsumption in commercial buildings in China using a detailed China End-use Energy Model.

China's official energy statistics have limited information on energy demand by end use. This is a particularlypertinent issue for building energy consumption. The authors have applied reasoned judgments, based on experienceof working on Chinese efficiency standards and energy related programs, to present a realistic interpretation of thecurrent energy data. The bottom-up approach allows detailed consideration of end use intensity, equipmentefficiency, etc., thus facilitating assessment of potential impacts of specific policy and technology changes onbuilding energy use.

The results suggest that: (1) commercial energy consumption in China's current statistics is underestimated byabout 44%, and the fuel mix is misleading; (2) energy efficiency improvements will not be sufficient to offset thestrong increase in end-use penetration and intensity in commercial buildings; (3) energy intensity (particularlyelectricity) in commercial buildings will increase; (4) different GDP growth and elasticity scenarios could lead to awide range of floor area growth trajectories , and therefore, significantly impact energy consumption in commercialbuildings.

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