Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



China’s Coal-Fired Energy is Going Out Those Inefficient Windows

Once China decides to tackle an issue, it excels. For example, having decided to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its energy mix, it did so, and in the process, propelled Chinese companies to three of the top five wind turbine manufacturers in the world. From a 78% dependence on coal as recently as 2007, the giant nation is now on its way to 67% dependence by 2015, but it remains behind the US in coal-dependence, which already has reduced its dependence on coal to 46%.

However, this is an extraordinary speed of change considering that the enormous country is actually the manufacturing center of the world, which involves the heavy industry that is at the base of most supply lines for the rest of the world.

But there is one area where China really lags the US. The nation’s building stock has worse energy-efficiency. Their buildings leak energy, mostly through the windows.

And compared with European window glass efficiency, China lags even further behind. Because many US states lack energy efficient building codes, there are fewer incentives for manufacturers here to compete with real energy efficiency. Thus, in the US, the only serious producer of energy efficient windows (Serious Materials) grew in the state with the toughest energy codes, California.

In China, the problem is even worse than spotty codes. Building codes generally are ignored, for lack of building inspectors on the ground. According to a study by Geoffrey Lewis during a Fulbright Scholarship in China, most of the coal powered heat is going out of the window.

But if China decided to figure out how to revamp its incentives to improve manufacturing of more energy-efficient windows, and to make that the standard, there is evidence that it could also reduce its reliance on coal much further. Like Scandinavia, which leads the world in window building efficiency, China has very, very cold winters.

German Passivehaus standards enforce windows that can stand up to that climate with triple pane glass and the engineering around the frames needed to prevent “heat bridges” crossing them. Like Germany, China is a nation of engineers, and companies like Jinan Sunny Machinery Company appear to now be starting to spring up to build windows at the level of energy efficiency needed to reduce energy use.

This should not be hard. And it certainly is cost effective. As this graph shows, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient is one of the cheapest ways to reduce greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Electrifying Industrial Heat for Steel, Cement, & More

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like


There has been a lot of concern about battery materials and global geopolitical risks. In some ways, it would be easy to just keep...


The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV made mini EVs very fashionable in China, especially in the second and third tier cities and so on. The...


BYD’s revolutionary LFP Blade Battery has been instrumental in boosting production and sales of BYD’s battery-electric vehicles as well as its “Super Hybrid” DM-i...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.