China will face more potentially fierce challenges in the energy field during the next 20 years, a report from the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRCSC) says.
The report indicates that as the next two decades are critical for China to realize its goal of industrialization, demands on energy will surge dramatically.
Heavy industries, such as steel, construction and chemicals, will mainly contribute to that demand.
Despite predictions that the total energy consumption in industrial fields will decrease from 72.7 percent in 2000 to 56.7-58.7 percent of the total in 2020, the industry will remain as the largest energy-consumption sector in the years to come, the report shows.
In addition, per-capita petroleum consumption will also surge dramatically, as more family cars emerge in the years to come.
Petroleum consumption is expected to jump by a year-on-year increase of 12 percent.
The energy consumption on transportation and construction will also increase by 0.5 percent and 10 percent respectively, compared with that in 2000.
China has become the second largest energy-consuming country in the world, with 1.48 billion tons of standard mine coal used in 2002, while the energy reserve per capita in China is far less than the world average, the report says.
The energy consumption per product involving heavy industries in China experienced great expansion, being 4.7 percent higher than the world average in 2001.
Petroleum consumption has increased significantly over the last decade. Furthermore, it is expected that total petroleum consumption will reach at least 450 million tons in 2020, and that nearly 60 percent of the total will have to be imported, the report adds.
Officials and experts suggest that China should adopt a sustainable development energy reservation policy, to meet energy demands and safeguard its security.
Liu Shijin, an official from the DRCSC, said China will attach great importance to energy reserves and environmental protection and improve the efficiency of energy use.
At present, the efficiency of energy use in China makes up only 33.4 percent, 10 percent lower than the world average.
Experts also suggested developing other types of energy resources and using more energy other than petroleum, such as natural gas, hydropower, solar energy and wind power.
(China Daily December 15, 2003)