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The China Motor Systems Energy Conservation Program: Establishing the Foundation for Systems Energy Efficiency


Industrial electric motor systems consume more than 600 billion kWh annually, accounting for more than 50% of China's electricity use. There are large opportunities to improve the efficiency of motor systems. Electric motors in China are approximately 2-4% less efficient on average than motors in the U.S. and Canada. Fans and pumps in China are approximately 3-5% less efficient than in developed countries. More optimized design, including appropriate sizing and use of speed control strategies, can reduce energy use by 20% or more in many motor-driven system applications. Unfortunately, few Chinese enterprises use or even know about these energy-saving practices. Opportunities for motor system improvements are probably greater in China than in the U.S. or Europe.

In response to this opportunity, China has established the China Motor Systems Energy Conservation Program in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Energy Foundation. This paper will describe the overall structure of the program. Elements include work to develop minimum efficiency standards for motors, a voluntary "green motor" labeling program for high-efficiency motors, efforts to develop and promote motor system management guidelines, and an intensive training, technical assistance and financing program to promote optimization of key motor systems in two pilot provinces, Shanghai and Jiangsu.

This year, an international team of experts is working with twenty Chinese experts in a series of "train the trainer" sessions designed to assist Chinese experts to integrate a systems approach into their work in Chinese industry. We will focus on progress to date including plant assessment techniques and significant considerations in adapting market-based voluntary program techniques to the Chinese business environment.