New energy layout taking shape in China

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At the Energy, Economy and Development forum held recently, the vice director-general of the National Energy Bureau of China said that a new energy layout is forming in China and it has four features:

First, there is an obvious trend of energy exploitation moving West. Shanxi Province has been the largest coal output province of China for a very long period, but now the coal outputs of Shaanxi Province, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang and other provinces and autonomous regions are growing quickly and playing a more important role in supporting China's economic development.

Second, there is an obvious slowdown of the energy consumption growth rate. From 2002 to 2004, the average annual energy consumption growth rate of China was 14 percent. From 2005 to 2007, it decreased to 7 percent. And from 2008 to 2010, it further decreased to nearly 6 percent. It is clear that China's energy consumption peak has passed.

Third, the trend of the energy structure improving is obvious. China's energy structure has been fundamentally stable for many years, with coal consumption accounting for about 70 percent of total energy consumption. Since the beginning of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the improving trend of China's energy consumption structure has been quite obvious. The output and consumption of natural gas and renewable energies is growing very rapidly.

Fourth, there is an obvious diversifying trend of energy sources. Currently, China's import dependence rates of oil, natural gas and coal are all rising gradually and have reached 55 percent, 23 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Regarding energy varieties, the non-conventional oil and gas as well as the geothermal energy are also attracting a lot of attention in addition to renewable energies, such as wind energy, solar energy and hydro energy.

According to survey statistics, China's total trans-regional energy transportation volume will increase from the 1.2 billion tons of standard coal in 2010 to 1.7 billion tons in 2015, of which the total trans-regional electricity transportation volume will increase from 520 million tons of standard coal in 2010 to 850 million tons in 2015.

Ge Zhengxiang, director of the Technological Department under the State Grid Corporation of China, said that technological innovations play a very important role in the transition and reform of energy, and China should first choose several key realms that have certain strengths and advantages and could affect the overall development of the whole electric power industry in the long run, and then China should organize human and financial resources effectively to tackle the key problems in these key realms and try hard to make original breakthroughs.

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