China Issues White Paper on Energy Policy

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Oct. 31 – China’s Information Office of the State Council released the “White Paper on China’s Energy Policies 2012 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Paper’)” on October 24. The Paper summarizes the current status of energy development in China and puts forward the development policies and objectives for the energy industry. Key information extracted from the Paper can be found below.

Current Situation

Since the introduction of China’s reform and opening-up policy, the country’s energy industry has undergone rapid growth, making great contributions to the long-term expansion of the national economy as well as continuing improvements towards overall living standards.

Energy supply capability has been enhanced significantly

In 2011, China’s output of primary energy equaled 31.8 billion tons of standard coal, ranking first in the world. Among which:

  • Raw coal amounted to 3.52 billion tons
  • Crude oil amounted to 200 million tons
  • Refined oil products amounted to 270 million tons

Meanwhile, the nation’s output of natural gas grew rapidly to 103.1 billion cubic meters, installed electricity generating capacity reached 1.06 billion kilowatts, and the annual output of electricity reached 4.7 trillion kilowatt-hours.

Energy-saving has made conspicuous achievements

From 1981-2011, the 5.82 percent annual growth of energy consumption has underpinned the 10 percent annual growth of the national economy. And from 2006 to 2011, the energy consumption per RMB10,000 of GDP dropped by 20.7 percent, saving 710 million tons of standard coal.

Non-fossil energy has witnessed rapid development

In 2011, the installed generating capacity of hydropower reached 230 million kilowatts, ranking first in the world. Fifteen nuclear power generating units have already been put into operation, with 26 units under construction.

Development Policies and Objectives

The basic contents of China’s energy policies are:

  • Giving priority to energy-saving
  • Relying on domestic resources
  • Facilitating diverse development
  • Protecting the environment
  • Promoting scientific and technological innovation
  • Deepening reform
  • Eexpanding international cooperation
  • Improving people’s livelihood

By 2015, non-fossil energy will account for 11.4 percent of national primary energy consumption, with energy consumption per unit of GDP decreasing by 16 percent from that of 2010. Additionally, CO2 emissions per unit of GDP will see a 17 percent decrease, compared with that of 2010.

By 2020, non-fossil energy will account for 15 percent of national primary energy consumption, and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP will be 40-45 percent lower than that in 2005.

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