Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > China Video

Sub-anchor: China still reliant on coal as primary energy source


04-08-2016 05:48 BJT

For more about China’s clean energy drive, we are joined in the studio by my colleague Wu Haojun.

Q1: We know in recent years China has made strides in developing clean energy, but we also know that the economy is still heavily reliant on coal. Give us a general picture of just where things stand now in terms of the country’s energy mix?

A: Yes, you're right when you say there's been great progress, but China’s current energy mix is still far from ideal. Now here are some numbers to put things into perspective. Coal consumption accounts for about two-thirds of China's primary energy consumption. And that’s more than a third higher than the global average. When that is translated to reality on the ground, they look like this. Frequent smog blanketing cities in the northern parts of China, especially during the winter months, when coal-fired heating plants are cranked up to full capacity. The hard-truth here is that coal is still by far the most economical source of energy for China. However, there’s been great consensus within the Chinese government and among the general public that the current mode of operation is simply not sustainable in environmental terms. China has specified that it aims to bring the share of non-fossil energy to 15 percent by 2020 and 20 percent by 2030. In addition, coal consumption will be limited to 62 percent of energy use by 2020. Well these are certainly big pronouncements, but will they be followed by equally-big and persistent actions, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Q2: Now coming back to wind power specifically, we learned some of the challenges from the earlier stories... but what’s the big picture like for the development of wind power in China?

A: Well the big picture is that there’s definitely the initiative and the drive by the central government to expand the share of wind power here. China's newly installed wind power capacity reached a record high in 2015. According to the National Energy Administration, the country's new wind power capacity jumped close to 33 gigawatts ( 32.97) last year. That’s more than 60 percent higher than 2014. However, despite the impressive gains, wind power resources around the country provided for a little more than three percent of the country’s total electric energy production last year. Well obviously it didn’t have much to do with a lack of effort or capacity, as we’ve learned from the stories. But rather a result of regional economic realities.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat