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Coal's role expected to decline gradually

By ZHENG XIN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-12-29 09:06

The file photo shows a wind power plant in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Primary energy consumption in China is expected to peak during the 2030-35 period to 6.03 billion ton standard coals and drop to 5.6 billion ton standard coals around 2060, a report released on Wednesday said.

Carbon emissions associated with energy in China are likely to peak by 2030 at around 9.9 billion tons and gradually fall to 1.7 billion tons by 2060 through carbon capture, utilization and storage as well as carbon sink, according to China Energy Outlook 2060 released by the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.

The institute said the energy and chemicals sectors, as pillar industries of the national economy as well as major emitters of carbon dioxide, should continue innovation and research for further carbon and consumption reduction.

Dai Baohua, general manager of the institute, said natural gas, solar and wind power will contribute the most to the growth of primary energy consumption during the 2020-30 period, accounting for around 91 percent of the increment.

Thanks to the large-scale development of clean energy, especially solar and wind power, consumption of fossil fuels is expected to decrease by 3.15 billion ton standard coals during the 2030-60 period, Dai said.

The report said coal is the only energy feedstock that will witness a consumption decrease. Power generation, steelmaking, construction materials and petrochemicals will be the four biggest coal consumers. Coal consumption will peak in 2024 at around 4.08 billion tons and account for around 50 percent of total energy consumption. The consumption will gradually decrease during the 2025-30 period and is expected to drop to 3.87 billion tons around 2030, accounting for around 46 percent of total energy consumption.

Energy consumption per GDP will keep decreasing while per capita energy consumption will continue to increase, it said.

Ren Jingdong, deputy head of the National Energy Administration, said the steady supply of energy resources plays a key role in ensuring stable economic and social performance and it is necessary to push forward the integrated development of fossil fuels alongside renewable energy.

According to the report, China's energy and chemicals markets are more resilient and vibrant while renewable energy has also been developing on a large scale and with high-quality characteristics in recent years.

Against the backdrop of the global market turmoil, it is necessary for domestic energy and chemical plays to be better prepared to continue promoting high-quality and low-carbon development, it said.

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