China not a threat to world energy

By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-12-27 06:49

China doesn't pose a threat to world energy security because it has depended mainly on domestic resources to power its economic and social development.

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The government gave this assurance in its first white paper on energy, released by the State Council Information Office Wednesday. [read full text]

"The basic theme of China's energy strategy (is to) give priority to thrift and rely on domestic resources," the paper says.

"We have not threatened world energy security in the past, are not threatening it now and will not threaten it in the future," it says.

Statistics show domestic sources provided for more than 90 percent of the country's energy need, and its self-sufficiency rate is higher than OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries' and the US' by 20 and 30 percentage points.

As the world's second largest energy producer, China has a relatively strong foundation in energy generation and supply, helping maintain its economic growth at an average annual rate of 9.8 percent from 1980 to 2006.

China Coal Information Institute President Huang Shengchu said the government's conservation efforts and stricter measures continue to play a major role in maintaining the country's high sufficiency in energy.

"The country's energy reserves can help us play a responsible role in the world energy market," said Huang, who as a senior energy expert is often involved in drafting energy-related laws and policies.

Coal accounts for about 70 percent of the total consumption in the country's energy mix. And official figures show the country's coal reserve is more than 1 trillion tons, about 320 billion tons of which can be extracted immediately. "The coal reserve can satisfy our demand for at least 100 more years," Huang said.

To complement these measures, the government is determined to increase the output of hydropower, nuclear and renewable energy in a big way.

The white paper says renewable energy would account for 10 per cent of the total consumption in 2010, and the figure would rise to 15 percent in 2020.

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