China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) value continued to fall last year, as a result of the country's efforts to make energy use more efficient and cut pollution, official figures show.
The energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan ($1,429) of China's GDP stood at 1.16 tonnes of coal equivalent in 2007, down 3.66 percent from the year 2006, the National Bureau of Statistics, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and National Energy Administration under the NDRC said in a statement Monday.
The indicator for 2006 was 1.204 tonnes of coal equivalent, 1.79 percent lower than that in 2005.
In 2005, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP was just more than three times the level of the United States, more than five times that of Germany and eight times that of Japan.
Beijing saw the energy use per unit of GDP shrink 6.04 percent last year, the biggest drop among all provincial jurisdictions, as the Chinese capital strove for energy efficiency and clean environment ahead of the Olympics.
Southern China's Hainan Province had the smallest reduction of 0.8 percent in the indicator.
China has set a target of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent and major pollutant emission by 10 percent by the year 2010 from the levels in 2005.
As part of its efforts to achieve those goals, the country planned to close small, energy-intensive coal-fired power units with a total capacity of 50 million kilowatts between 2006 and 2010.
The aggregate capacity of closed small thermal units since 2005 had reached 25.87 million kilowatts, 51.74 percent of the targeted reduction, the National Energy Administration said Monday.
Most of the closed were in southern China's Guangdong Province, the eastern provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui and Shandong and central province of Henan.
The closure was estimated to save 32.6 million tonnes of coal and cut carbon dioxide emission by more than 550,000 tonnes each year.
Small units with a capacity below 100,000 kw burnt 400 million tonnes of coal in 2007, more than 30 percent of the total coal consumption by China's power plants. They produced 5.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006, nearly 40 percent of the total emissions from the country's power sector.