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Chinese firms more willing to embrace green agenda

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-30 09:48
[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese organizations have exhibited a higher level of willingness to increase spending in energy efficiency projects, a trend that surpasses their global peers and offers big opportunities for green building solution providers, according to an industry executive.

Around 70 percent of commercial and industrial institutions in China said they plan to increase their energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, higher than the global average of 59 percent, sustainable building solutions provider Johnson Controls revealed in its latest Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey for 2018.

Meanwhile, Chinese entities are generally more willing to pay a premium to lease space in a certified green building, with 63 percent expressing such readiness compared with 51 percent globally, signaling a "vibrant and growing business environment", said Clay Nesler, the company's vice-president of global energy and sustainability.

"Today the priorities in China are environmental protection and the reduction of pollution in the industrial sector, where many organizations would like to have buildings that use about half as much energy as normal constructed buildings," said Nesler. "This opens up great opportunities for our technologies, products and solutions in the building space."

Starting out with a building temperature control device in the 1880s, the Wisconsin, United States-based company has grown to offer a wide range of solutions that aim to make buildings safer, smarter and more sustainable.

For instance, it has introduced an internet of things and cloud-based video surveillance platform to allow visible data and smart video analysis.

To make buildings even more intelligent and environmentally friendly, the company's cooling and heating equipment, refrigeration technologies, and other integrated control and management solutions can help buildings save energy and consequently lower ownership costs.

At the current rate of warming, the world's temperatures are likely to rise 1.5 C between 2030 and 2052 after an increase of 1 C above pre-industrial levels since the mid-1880s, according to a report issued in October by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The panel called for "rapid, unprecedented changes" in the way people use energy and called for renewable energy to supply 70 to 85 percent of electricity by 2050 in order to stay within the 1.5 C limit.

To help address this issue, Johnson Controls is cooperating with the authorities on the "Coal to Electricity" initiative across China's northern cities, by specifically designing heat pumps that allow a power plant or an industrial process to reuse waste heat and more efficiently use the energy that it can consume.

"Rather than burning more fossil fuels to generate more heat, we can use electricity from wind power or other sources to provide the additional heating capacity," he said, adding that a Chinese-led global expert team is driving forward the initiative, which can be applied across similar situations globally.

"We very much view China as a long-term growth market that has shown great success in the (past) 40 years, and we expect many years of success in the future," said Nesler.

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