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China: GEF grant to support scaling-up energy efficiency and renewable energy in cities

April 26, 2013

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 –Today the World Bank Board of Directors approved a grant of US$12 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the People’s Republic of China to assist in improving national and city-level policies and implementation capacity for promoting the development of low-carbon, adaptive and livable urban forms, increasing energy efficiency in public and commercial buildings, and scaling up commercially viable rooftop solar PV (Photovoltaic) deployment.

In recent years, China has been promoting low-carbon and eco cities with a focus on urban planning, urban infrastructure and urban built environment.  Over 200 Chinese cities have included low-carbon growth as part of their development objective.  However, challenges remain, including a lack of:

  • levers for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in prevailing urban spatial planning standards and regulations;
  • knowledge or disclosure about the energy performance of existing public and commercial buildings;
  • effective policy instruments for scaling-up green buildings;
  • viable business models for market aggregation of rooftop solar PV deployment.

“We will work with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Beijing and Ningbo Municipalities to tackle these constraints. The project will strengthen linkages between the national and city-level efforts, and form the basis of a national dissemination platform to replicate good practices and policies for scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energy in urban areas in China,” said Liu Feng, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist. “This project complements and builds synergy with several other Bank and GEF-supported projects including the recently approved Green Energy Schemes for Low-carbon City in Shanghai Project, Beijing Rooftop Solar PV Scale-up Project, and the Large-City Congestion and Carbon Reduction Project.”

The Urban-Scale Building Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project will have three major components:

  1. Promoting the development of low-carbon, adaptive and livable urban forms, by (a) improving statutory urban planning standards and regulations which have direct impact on urban forms, (b) fostering city initiatives in piloting and adopting urban planning and design principles that result in low-carbon, adaptive and livable urban forms, and (c) supporting national consensus building and the development of relevant national guidelines;
  2. Improving energy efficiency in public and commercial buildings, by (a) developing methodology and guidelines for energy performance benchmarking and disclosure for large public and commercial buildings at the national level and pilot and expand city-level mandatory benchmarking and disclosure programs, and (b) improving selected policies and supporting mechanisms for scaling up green buildings in Beijing and Ningbo Municipalities; and
  3. Scaling-up Commercially Viable Rooftop Solar PV Deployment, by (a) demonstration of the renewable energy service company business model for large-scale grid-connected rooftop solar PV deployment, (b) demonstration of two-way metering, (c) establishment of an on-line monitoring system for rooftop PV systems and a solar energy information portal in Beijing Municipality, and (d) improvement of renewable energy education in schools and other educational institutions in Beijing Municipality.

Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. It provides grants to developing countries and countries in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.


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