As Number One Energy Consumer China Must Improve Energy Efficiency

WITH China being the world's second largest economy, it is no surprise that it has passed the United States as the largest energy consumer - so reports China Daily.

The reason for the new number one spot for energy consumption has a lot to do with China also having the world’s largest population. Plus, to boost economic growth China is increasing energy consumption per capita to around the global average.

In 2011 the country’s overall energy consumption was equivalent to 3.48 billion tons of coal, a per capita figure of 2.6 tons of coal annually. While the per capita power consumption was 3,400 kilowatt-hours annually (US 15,000 kWh).

China now realises that they must redouble efforts to improve energy efficiency as quickly as possible. They managed to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by around 20 percent during the last five-year period, between 2006 and 2010, now the Chinese government has set a target to reduce it by a further 16 percent during the current five-year period.

It is recognised that China no longer has any simple and easy energy efficiency gains - such as shutting down outdated power plants or energy-intensive industries. There is also a danger that any economic slowdown would make it tempting to ignore energy conservation in the face of stimulus projects.

Picture of Shanghai by J. Patrick Fischer (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday 1st June 2012

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