Wednesday, June 15, 2011

China's Renewed Interest in Energy Efficiency Turns Attention toward Glass

A recent article in the New York Times says provincial governments in China are subsidizing the construction of factories that produce energy efficient products, including triple-layer, insulated glass.

The move comes as China grows more concerned with using energy efficiently. It is likely a response to electricity shortages and blackouts over the past year. Another likely trigger is the country’s security concerns regarding its dependence on energy imports.

Senior executives in the glass manufacturing industry report that Chinese construction companies had long chosen low-cost, less-insulated materials. The reason is that buildings in China tend to change hands frequently, causing owners to look past the potential for long-term paybacks from electricity savings.

The real estate industry in China is constructing office towers and apartment buildings at a brisk pace but with little regard for energy efficiency, but that is changing.

China’s building energy efficiency director at the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development reports that the ministry has adopted an energy labeling system for new commercial and government buildings. It is also looking at creating fiscal incentives for developers to use more efficient materials and adopt renewable energy.