Chinese energy overview

  • China became the largest global energy consumer in 2011 and is the world’s second largest oil consumer behind the US.
  • The country became the world’s second largest net importer of crude oil and petroleum products in 2009.
  • EIA reported at the end of 2013 that China had become the world’s largest net importer of petroleum and other liquids.
  • Oil consumption growth accounted for approximately 43% of the world’s oil consumption growth in 2014.
  • EIA projects that China will account for more than one fourth of the global oil consumption growth in 2015.
  • China is the world’s top coal producer, consumer and importer and accounts for almost half of global consumption.
  • China’s rising coal production is the key driver behind the country becoming the world’s largest energy producer in 2009.
  • China is the world’s most populous country and has a rapidly growing economy.
  • IMF reported that the country’s real annual gross GDP slowed to 7.4% in 2014, the lowest since 1990.
  • China’s leadership announced a target GDO growth rate of 7% for 2015.
  • Economic growth has slowed since 2012 as industrial production and exports decreased and as the government attempt to curb high debt levels and excessive investment in certain markets.
  • The government is moving toward more market based pricing schemes in the energy sector, along with energy efficiency and pollution control methods amongst other things.
  • China has been seeking ways to attract more private investment in the energy sector by streamlining the project approval process, implementing policies to foster more energy transmission infrastructure to link supply and demand centres and relax some price controls.

Primary energy consumption

  • Coal supplied 66% of China’s total energy consumption in 2012.
  • The second largest source was petroleum and other liquids at 20%.
  • The government has plans to cap coal use at 62% of total primary energy consumption in 2020.
  • The Chinese government set a target to raise non-fossil fuel energy consumption to 15% of the energy mix by 2020 and 20% by 2030.
  • China is currently increasing its use of natural gas to replace some coal and oil as a cleaner burning fossil fuel and plans to use natural gas for 10% of its energy consumption by 2020.
  • China is the world’s leading energy related CO2 emitter.
  • The government plans to reduce carbon intensity by 17% between 2010 and 2015 and energy intensity by 16%.
  • China has projected that its carbon emissions will rise by more than one third from current levels and peak in 2030.

Edited from report by Claira Lloyd

Published on 18/05/2015


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