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China uses less coal, more clean energy

China’s dependence on coal as primary energy source went down to 68 percent of total energy consumption.The ratio of clean energy in China’s energy structure rose by 11.7 percent, while dependence on coal as primary energy source went down to 68 percent of total energy consumption.

Zhang Guobao, deputy chairman of the China National Development and Reform Commission and director of the National Energy Commission, announced the figures at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on September 25.

According to Mr. Zhang, large strides were made in the optimization of China’s energy structure. Coal use dropped from 95 percent in 1952 to 68.7 percent in 2008. Petroleum use increased by 14.6 percent, while hydro, nuclear, wind and natural gas usage increased by 11.7 percent collectively.

He also noted that clean energy has positioned China as the world’s largest energy producer. Hydropower installed capacity is at 172 million kilowatts, ranked first worldwide. Wind energy is at 12.17 million kW, ranked fourth worldwide.

China’s solar water heaters have a gross collector area of over 125 million square meters and an annual output of 40 million square meters, ranked first in the world. Nuclear power has a total installed capacity of 9.1 million kW, with an additional 25.4 million kW under construction.

China has made significant efforts to move towards clean and renewable energy sources, with Chinese president Hu Jintao pledging to increase non-fossil fuel use to around 15 percent by 2020.

Coal use represents the rest of China’s energy portfolio, with primary energy output at 2.6 billion tons of coal in 2008.

China maintains an energy self-sufficiency rate of above 90 percent, the largest in the world