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China Utility-Based Energy Efficiency Finance Program (CHUEE)

Big Opportunities for Smaller Businesses to Save Energy


Do smaller companies use less energy? Apparently not, according to the latest study IFC commissioned to identify the top industrial sectors in China with the biggest energy-saving potential. In fact, the study shows that small and medium industrial enterprises use more than twice the amount of energy consumed by their larger counterparts, or 1.3 billion tons of coal equivalent per year. That’s 41 percent of the total energy consumption by Chinese enterprises.


The China SME report, completed in October, analyzes the profiles of small and medium businesses in eight sectors and aims to gauge the potential for financing sustainable energy projects in China. It estimates that these smaller enterprises can potentially cut down greenhouse-gas emission by around 230 million tons of coal equivalent a year, which will save them 446 billion yuan ($70 billion).


The top three polluting sectors are raw chemical-materials and chemical-products manufacturing, ferrous-metals smelting and pressing, and non‐metallic mineral products manufacturing. Merely targeting this trio can help achieve more than half of the energy-saving goals set for 35 sectors in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan from 2011 to 2015. 


Helping small and medium enterprises improve their energy efficiency is one of IFC’s top priorities under its CHUEE SME Program. We are using results of the study to identify the best sectors for our partner financial institutions to invest in so that they can support smaller clients in reducing carbon emissions while improving their bottom lines at the same time.


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