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China Reportedly Plans Strict Goals to Save Energy

With oil prices at their highest level in more than two years because of unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, the Chinese government plans to announce strict five-year goals for energy conservation in the next two weeks.  Meeting the new target of no more than four billion metric tons of coal or its equivalent, will require further improvements in efficiency if the economy expands 7 percent a year in the coming years. China has placed a big bet on renewable energy, emerging as the world’s biggest and lowest-cost manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels. But the country remains heavily reliant on coal for its electricity. And its oil imports are surging after auto sales have surpassed the American market in each of the last two years. Much greater efficiency gains would be needed if the economy grows even faster, as most economists predict. The Chinese economy expanded 10.3 percent last year. 3/4 NY Times