China is the world’s largest energy consumer and coal is its dominant fuel, meeting 60% of demand. But diversification is under way. The role of coal in meeting China’s energy growth needs has gone down steadily for decades. In the past few years, coal consumption has actually decreased while energy demand has kept growing. Excluding the ‘new renewables’ of solar and wind energy, nuclear, natural gas and hydropower have been the fastest-growing sources of primary energy in China. Their consumption multiplied 15, 10 and 5 times respectively between 2000 and 2017. Over the same period, total primary energy consumption grew threefold. Coal’s share of China’s total energy demand dropped from 68% to 60%, and oil’s share fell from 22% to 19%.
IISS 19th Sept 2018 read more »