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China focuses on low-carbon energy for future

By Zheng Xin | | Updated: 2023-12-08 19:56
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China anticipates a continued acceleration in the low-carbon development of its energy consumption structure, coupled with a sustained upward climb in energy self-sufficiency in the years to come, according to a think tank.

China has continuously improved its energy consumption structure while increasing energy efficiency over the past decade. The country's share of non-fossil energy consumption is expected to continue rising to 18.3 percent in 2023, from the 17.5 percent in 2022, said Wu Mouyan, vice president of the Economics and Technology Research Institute under China National Petroleum Corp, in Beijing on Thursday at an industry seminar.

The share of non-fossil energy is expected to surpass 50 percent between 2040 and 2045 while the country's self-sufficient energy rate is set to reach 87 percent, with a year-on-year increase of 0.9 percentage points, he said. 

According to the World Energy Report released by the institute, China remains at the forefront of global wind and solar energy development, with an anticipated installation and generation capacity of 1 billion kilowatts and 1.4 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2023, capturing a global share of 39 percent and 37 percent respectively.

On the other hand, anticipated sales of new energy vehicles is expected to surpass 9 million units in 2023, with sale penetration rates exceeding 30 percent, it said.

Amid the backdrop, the institute believes China's oil demand is expected to peak by 2030 between 780 and 800 million metric tons per year and further decrease to 220 million tons per year by 2060. The petrochemical sector will account for 30 percent of the country's oil demand by 2030 and 66 percent by 2060, it said. 

The country's oil demand is expected to fall to 220 million tons per year by 2060, roughly a quarter of the peak level, due to falling demands for transport fuels, while natural gas demand will peak at 605.9 billion cubic meters in 2040, it said.

As an important technology in the field of carbon emission reduction and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is crucial to China's emission reduction. Under the carbon neutrality target, China's CCUS emission reduction demand is expected to reach 1.4 to 2.1 billion tons by 2060, it said. 

The institute believes hydrogen, as a pivotal option for deep decarbonization at the terminal end, will see its consumption in China surpass 36 million tons in 2023, making it the world's largest producer and consumer for the 13th consecutive year.

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