27 Jul 2009 12:05

China to rein in annual energy demand to 4 bln tons of standard coal by 2020 - NEA head

Shanghai. July 27. INTERFAX-CHINA - China will be able to limit its annual energy demand to less than 4 billion tons of standard coal by 2020, the head of the National Energy Agency (NEA) told state media on July 25.

China's annual energy consumption grew at an annual rate of 9.1 percent from 2000 to 2007 and is on track to exceed 5.7 billion tons of standard coal by 2020 if the current growth rate is maintained, NEA Director, Zhang Guobao, said.

However, the global financial crisis and China's efforts to improve energy conservation and environmental protection will limit the growth of China's energy demand and in turn alter its energy consumption, Zhang said.

The NEA's latest estimate shows that China's annual energy demand will grow at annual rate of less than 3 percent until 2020, which should keep annual energy demand below 4 billion tons of standard coal by 2020, Zhang said.

Meanwhile, China's coal demand is expected only to grow to about 3 billion tons by 2020 from about 2.7 billion tons in 2008 due to the rapid development of natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power and other renewable energy sources in the coming decade, Zhang said.

China plans to utilize some of the 300 million kilowatts (kW) of underdeveloped hydropower resources at a much faster pace over the next 10 years and build 100 million kW to 200 million kW of new nuclear power installed capacity, Zhang said.

Other sources of clean energy, such as natural gas, wind power and solar power, are also on the fast track for expansion in the coming decade, Zhang said.