Supply-side reform in China’s building sector has had a huge impact on China's economic, financial, and energy industries. As an important pillar of China's national economy, the development in the building sector has been intimately connected to development of other key industries in China. The real estate industry currently accounts for approximately 19.7% of the total investment in fixed assets of the building sector. The energy consumption of building sector accounts for about 25% of the total energy consumption in the country. With the acceleration of China’s urbanization, the scale of real estate will continue to grow, along with total building volume stock, and thus building energy consumption will continue to account for an increasingly large proportion of China’s total energy consumption. Given the urgency of climate change and China’s existing environmental resources constraints, improving energy efficiency and energy structure are critical goals of the building sector.
On the afternoon of May 11, 2018 in Beijing, the China Coal Cap project launched the latest research from its report on “Building Sector Coal Cap Potential and Implementation Pathways.” According to the report, as of December 2017, China’s real estate development enterprises’ housing inventory was 301.63 million square meters, representing a 25.1% year-on-year decline, reflecting the remarkable achievements of government policies. However, housing inventory is still 78.4% higher than it was in December 2011. To further cap total coal consumption in building sector, it is necessary to accelerate reductions in housing stock, controlling total construction volume. With respect to building energy efficiency, building energy efficiency standards should be continuously upgraded towards ultra-low levels energy consumption, near zero energy consumption, with a final goal of reaching zero energy consumption. Zero carbon emissions will be the medium and long-term focus of efforts in this area. In the near future, clean heating will help to replace dispersed coal use and increase energy efficiency.