Government, the Leader of Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction
By Jia Feng
Energy Saving and pollution reduction have become a new global trend due to environment deterioration and resource exemption caused by rapid economic growth. Not only emerging countries like India, China and Brazil, but also developed countries like Norway, Luxemburg and Germany are now making every effort to hold positive positions in the competition of low carbon economy.
In the late August, I have spent 4 weeks to visit 9 European countries with ‘The Window of European Environmental Protection’, a joint interview group composing of journalists from People’s Daily, CCTV, China News and China Environment News. The beautiful natural scenes in those countries attracted our interest and attention. It is more impressive, however, to witness their efforts to develop renewable energies and the achievements in energy saving and pollution reduction.
Primorec SA, an affiliated company to ArcelorMittal in Luxemburg, conducts integrated treatment of waste residue and dust produced by 4 steel factories. Through this effort, it has eliminated the emission of pollutant, protecting the public health and the environment. What’s more, it has created a special patent technology to extract pig iron and high-concentrated Zinc from the waste, achieving both economic and environmental interests.
In Norway, BV ENERGI adopts rapeseed oil to produce low flash-point biodiesel with the annual production reaching 100,000 tons in 2007. The production will be increased to 220,000 tons in the early next year. BV not only supplies the traditional oil and gas stations, but also established biodiesel stations operating independently from world oil companies. The Norwegian government has given strong financial support for the development of diesel stations by exempting income tax.
In the two above-mentioned cases, Luxemburg has changed the waste to useful things while Norway developed low carbon emission renewable energies. Their success demonstrated the governments’ unswerving support for energy saving, pollution reduction and the development of low carbon economy. Thanks to the strict environmental laws and pollutant emission standards stipulated by the government, the waste gas, residue and dust produced in steel factories has no access to irresponsible discharge. In addition, laws and regulations to encourage the utilization of renewable energies and the development of recycled economy are incentives for enterprises to protect the environment. Through the differentiated measures, the government has played a special and irreplaceable role in energy saving and pollution reduction.?
Also in Norway, the government has cooperated with enterprises, research institutes and environmental protection organizations to initiate the Hydrogen Expressway Project in 2003. This project aims to build 7 hydrogen gas stations by using renewable energies like solar power and biomass as well as clean energies like natural gas and hydropower along the 580 km expressway connecting Oslo and a coastal city Bergen in 6 years. Currently, 2 of the stations have been put into operation. The next goal of the project is to build a hydrogen expressway network throughout the North Europe. While the development of hydrogen economy remains controversial in other countries, it has strategic significance for Norway to develop renewable resources to solve climate change problems, so as to promote and integrate the R&D as well as the industrialization of hi-techs, promote the innovation of government’s environmental policy and mechanism as well as improve the national competitiveness. The program can be compared as Project Apollo in the 21st century.
In Germany, 3600m2 photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems has been installed on the roof of the federal congress building since 1991, costing 600 million German Mark and 8 year to complete. It has also designed and built natural light collecting system in the congress hall, the geo-thermal and wind power generation system and heat recycling system. Thanks to these efforts, the energy consumption and operation expense of the building have been greatly reduced, cutting its annual CO2 emission from 7000 tons to 400 tons, earning the fame of the Greenest Building of Germany for this old architecture boasting a history of more than 100 years. With its historical value and the ecological design, the federal congress building is<