May 31, 2010
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China's Energy Policy (2012)
China's Energy Policy (2012)
(October 2012, Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China)
(2012年10月 中华人民共和国国务院新闻办公室)
 前 言
I. Current Energy Development
II. Policies and Goals of Energy Development
III. All-round Promotion of Energy Conservation
IV. Vigorously Developing New and Renewable Energy
V. Promoting Clean Development of Fossil Energy
VI. Improving Universal Energy Service
VII. Accelerating Progress of Energy Technology
VIII. Deepening Institutional Reform in the Energy Sector
IX. Strengthening International Cooperation in Energy
Energy is the material basis for the progress of human civilization and an indispensable basic condition for the development of modern society. It remains a major strategic issue for China as the country moves towards its goals of modernization and common prosperity for its people.
Since China adopted the policy of reform and opening up in the late 1970s, its energy industry has made great advances. China is now the world's largest energy producer. It has built up a comprehensive energy supply system comprising coal, electricity, petroleum, natural gas, and new and renewable energy resources. Its universal energy service and civil energy use conditions have markedly improved. Its thriving energy industry provides a guarantee for the country to reduce poverty, improve the people's livelihood and maintain long-term, steady and rapid economic development.
However, China's energy development still faces many challenges. The country's energy resource endowment is not high and its per-capita share of coal, petroleum and natural gas is low. Its energy consumption has grown too quickly in recent years, increasing the strain on energy supply. Fossil energy resources have been exploited on a large scale, causing a certain amount of damage to the eco-environment.
To curb excessive consumption of energy resources and achieve the comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development of the economy, society and ecology, China keeps strengthening its efforts in energy conservation and emission reduction, and strives to raise the efficiency of energy utilization. As a result, energy consumption per unit of GDP has been decreasing year by year. China will continue to take the Scientific Outlook on Development as its guiding principle, and work hard to transform its development pattern, giving prominence to building a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society. It relies on scientific, technological and system innovation to raise efficiency in all aspects of energy utilization, further develops new and renewable energy resources, and promotes the clean and efficient development and utilization of fossil energy resources. The country endeavors to build a modern energy industry which is secure, stable, economical and clean, in order to provide a solid guarantee for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and make greater contributions to the world's economic development.
I. Current Energy Development
Since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced, China's energy industry has witnessed rapid growth, achieving comprehensive development of coal, electricity, petroleum, natural gas, and new and renewable energy resources, making important contributions to the long-term, steady and rapid growth of the national economy and the sustained improvement of living standards.
-- Remarkable enhancement of energy supply capability and security. In 2011, the output of primary energy equaled 3.18 billion tons of standard coal, ranking first in the world. Of this, raw coal reached 3.52 billion tons; crude oil, 200 million tons; and refined oil products, 270 million tons. The output of natural gas ballooned to 103.1 billion cu m. The installed electricity generating capacity reached 1.06 billion kw, and the annual output of electricity was 4.7 trillion kwh. A comprehensive energy transportation system has developed rapidly. The length of oil pipelines totaled more than 70,000 km, and the natural gas trunk lines exceeded 40,000 km. Electric power grids were linked up throughout the country, and electricity transmission lines of 330 kv or more totaled 179,000 km. The first phase of the national petroleum reserve project was completed, and the country's emergency energy-supply capability keeps improving.
-- Conspicuous achievements in energy conservation. China vigorously promotes energy conservation. During the 1981-2011 period, China's energy consumption increased by 5.82 percent annually, underpinning the 10 percent annual growth of the national economy. From 2006 to 2011, the energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan of GDP dropped by 20.7 percent, saving energy equivalent to 710 million tons of standard coal. The state implemented a series of energy-saving renovations, such as of boilers, electrical machinery, buildings and installation of green lighting products. The gap between the overall energy consumption of China's high energy-consuming products and the advanced international level is narrowing. The energy utilization efficiency of new projects in the heavy and chemical industries, such as non-ferrous metals, building materials and petrochemicals, is up to the world's advanced level. The country has eliminated small thermal power units with a total generating capacity of 80 million kw, saving more than 60 million tons of raw coal annually. In 2011, coal consumption of thermal power supply per kwh was 37 grams of standard coal lower than in 2006, a decrease of 10 percent.
-- Rapid development in non-fossil energy. China has made energetic efforts in developing new and renewable energy resources. In 2011, the installed generating capacity of hydropower reached 230 million kw, ranking first in the world. Fifteen nuclear power generating units were put into operation, with a total installed capacity of 12.54 million kw. Another 26 units, still under construction, were designed with a total installed capacity of 29.24 million kw, leading the world. The installed generating capacity of wind power connected with the country's power grids reached 47 million kw, ranking top in the world. Photovoltaic power generation also reported speedy growth, with a total installed capacity of 3 million kw. Solar water heating covered a total area of 200 million sq m. The state also expedites the use of biogas, geothermal energy, tidal energy and other renewable energy resources. Non-fossil energy accounted for 8 percent of the total primary energy consumption, which means an annual reduction of more than 600 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.
-- Quick advance in science and technology. A fairly complete system of exploration and development technologies has taken shape in the petroleum and natural gas industry, with prospecting and development techniques in geologically complicated regions and the recovery ratio of oilfields leading the world. Oil drilling rigs that are capable of operating at a maximum water depth of 3,000 m have been built. China is now able to independently design and build oil refinery equipment, each set of which boasts an annual output of 10 million tons, and ethylene production plants, each of which has an annual output of one million tons. The country's direct coal liquefaction and coal-to-olefins technologies, for which it owns independent intellectual property rights, have reached the world's advanced level and achieved new breakthroughs in technology. In addition, 60 percent of the country's coal mines have been mechanized, and mechanized underground mining equipment with an annual output of six million tons is installed nationwide. Electric power generating units featuring a large capacity and high parameters, including ultra-supercritical and air-cooled generators each with an installed capacity of one million kw, have been installed widely. The designing and manufacturing of 700,000-kw hydraulic turbine generators have reached the world's advanced level. China is now able to independently design and build one-million-kw pressurized water reactor nuclear power plants, and has made outstanding breakthroughs in the R&D of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors and fast reactors. Also, 3,000-kw wind power generators have been mass-produced and 6,000 kw wind power generators have come off the production line. The solar photovoltaic industry has formed a sound manufacturing chain, with an annual output of solar panels accounting for more than 40 percent of the world's total. China leads the world in extra-high-voltage DC/AC power transmission technology and manufacturing.
-- Marked improvement in civil energy use conditions. The state actively promotes civil energy projects and works to enhance the overall level of energy service. Compared with 2006, the per-capita primary energy consumption in 2011 equaled 2.6 tons of standard coal, a 31 percent increase; the per-capita natural gas consumption reached 89.6 cu m, an increase of 110 percent; and the per-capita electricity consumption was 3,493 kw, a 60 percent increase. The first and second west-east gas pipelines have been completed, and more than 180 million people across the country have access to natural gas. The government has invested more than 550 billion yuan in power grid upgrading projects for rural areas, fundamentally improving access to electricity for rural residents. The Qinghai-Tibet electricity network project has been completed, connecting the power grid of the Tibetan plateau with those of the other parts of China. The state is accelerating the construction of electric power facilities in areas that as yet do not have electricity, and has so far ensured that more than 30 million people have access to electricity. Combined heat and power projects with a total installed capacity of 70 million kw have been built in high-altitude and frigid areas in northern China that provide more than 40 million urban residents access to heating.
-- Remarkable progress in environmental protection. The country is quickening the pace of control of coal mining subsidence areas, and establishes and improves the compensation mechanism for the exploitation of coal resources and restoration of the eco-environment. In 2011, the coal washing rate reached 52 percent and the land reclamation rate, 40 percent. Existing power plants have speeded up their desulfurization and denitration upgrading, and coal-fueled generating units with flue gas desulphurization facilities accounted for 90 percent of the national total. Coal-fueled generating units reported a 100-percent installation of dust-cleaning facilities and a 100-percent discharge of waste water up to the relevant standards. The state is intensifying efforts for the development and utilization of coal bed methane (CBM), extracting 11.4 billion sq m of CBM in 2011. China became the first country to adopt a national standard for CBM emissions. Its energy consumption per unit of GDP has dropped over the past five years, eliminating 1.46 billion tons of CO2 discharge.
-- Energy systems and mechanisms gradually improving. The market mechanism is playing an increasingly important role in resource allocation. Investors in the energy field are diversified, and private investment in it keeps growing. Market competition has been introduced into the production and distribution of coal. In the electric power industry, government administrative functions and enterprise management have been separated, as has power production from power transmission, and a supervisory system has taken shape. Energy pricing reform has been deepening, and the pricing mechanism is gradually improving. Relevant policies and measures for the sustainable development of the coal industry have been tried out. The state has also established a feed-in tariff (FIT) system for wind and photovoltaic power generation, and a renewable energy development fund. The legal system of energy-related laws has been strengthened, and a number of laws and regulations have been amended and published in the past few years, including the Energy Conservation Law, Renewable Energy Law, Circular Economy Promotion Law, Law on the Protection of Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines, Regulations on Energy Conservation in Civil Buildings, and Regulations on Energy Conservation by Public Institutions.
As the world's largest energy producer, China mainly relies on its own strength to develop energy, and its rate of self-sufficiency has reached around 90 percent. China's energy development not only guarantees domestic economic and social development, but also makes significant contributions to global energy security. For some time to come, China's industrialization and urbanization will continue to accelerate, and the demand for energy will go on increasing, and so its energy supply will confront increasingly tougher challenges.
-- Prominent resources restraint. China's per-capita average of energy resources is low by world standards. China's per-capita shares of coal, petroleum and natural gas account for 67 percent, 5.4 percent, and 7.5 percent of the world's averages, respectively. Although China has experienced rapid growth in energy consumption over the past few years, its per-capita energy consumption is still low - only one third of the average of developed countries. But as the economy and society progress and living standards improve, China's energy consumption will continue to rise sharply, and there will be a growing restraint on resources.
-- Low energy efficiency. China's industrial structure is yet to be rationalized and the economic growth pattern to be improved. Energy consumption per unit of GDP is much higher than those of developed countries and some newly industrialized countries. Energy-intensive industries are backward in technology. The percentage of energy consumption by the secondary industries, especially the energy-intensive industrial sectors, is too high in the country's total. The energy consumption of four major energy-intensive industries - steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, and building materials - accounts for 40 percent of the national total. Low energy efficiency results in high energy consumption for every unit of GDP.
-- Increasing environmental pressure. Extensive development of fossil energy, particularly coal, has had a serious impact on the eco-environment. Large areas of arable land are taken up for other uses or even spoiled, water resources are seriously polluted, the discharge of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and toxic heavy metals remains high, and emissions of ozone and particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) are increasing. For a long time to come, fossil energy will continue to dominate the energy consumption mix, posing a growing challenge for protecting the environment and countering climate change. A more environment-friendly energy mix is urgently needed.
-- Grave challenges to energy security. The country's dependence on foreign energy sources has been increasing in recent years. In particular, the percentage of imported petroleum in the total petroleum consumption has risen from 32 percent at the beginning of the 21st century to the present 57 percent. Marine transportation of petroleum and cross-border pipeline transmission of oil and gas face ever-greater security risks. Price fluctuations in the international energy market make it more difficult to guarantee domestic energy supply. It will not be easy for China to maintain its energy security since its energy reserves are small and its emergency response capability is weak.
-- Reforms called for current systems and mechanisms. Energy-related systems and mechanisms still suffer from some long-term, deep-rooted problems. The energy pricing mechanism is yet to be perfected, and industrial management is still weak. The overall service level needs to be enhanced. Overall, restraints of the current systems and mechanisms have seriously hindered the rational development of the country's energy industry.
The above problems challenging China's energy development are a result of the international energy competition, and China's levels of productivity and development, as well as the country's irrational industrial structure and energy mix, extensive development and utilization of energy resources, and sluggish reform of relevant systems and mechanisms. Therefore, China will vigorously promote the transformation of its energy production and utilization modes, continuously improve its energy policy, and strive to achieve a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development of its energy, economy, society and eco-environment.
II. Policies and Goals of Energy Development
As the largest developing country in the world, China is faced with the daunting tasks of developing its economy, improving its people's livelihood, and building a moderately prosperous society. It is an important strategic task of the Chinese government to maintain long-term, stable and sustainable use of energy resources. China's energy development must follow a path featuring high-tech content, low consumption of resources, less environmental pollution, satisfactory economic returns, as well as security. It is moving towards the objective of economical, clean and secure development.
The basic contents of China's energy policies are: “giving priority to conservation, relying on domestic resources, encouraging diverse development, protecting the environment, promoting scientific and technological innovation, deepening reform, expanding international cooperation, and improving the people's livelihood.” The state strives to advance the transformation of its energy production and utilization modes, and build a modern energy industrial system which features secure, stable, economical and clean development, so as to support sustainable economic and social development with sustainable energy development.
-- Giving priority to conservation. The state exercises control over both total energy consumption and intensity. It is working to build an energy-saving production and consumption system, promote the transformation of the patterns of economic development and household consumption, and accelerate the pace of building an energy-efficient country and an energy-saving society.
-- Relying on domestic resources. The country relies on domestic resource advantages and its own development basis, makes special efforts to enhance its energy supply capability and security, improves its emergency energy reserve and emergency response systems, and controls its dependence on foreign energy sources.
-- Encouraging diverse development. China endeavors to raise the proportion of clean, low-carbon fossil energy and non-fossil energy in the energy mix, promotes the efficient and clean utilization of coal, develops substitute energy resources in a scientific way, and speeds up the optimization of energy production and the consumption mix.
-- Protecting the environment. The state encourages fostering the concept of environment-friendly and low-carbon development, coordinates the development and use of energy resources with the protection of the eco-environment while paying equal attention to both, and actively fosters an energy development pattern that meets the requirements of ecological civilization.
-- Promoting scientific and technological innovation. The state strengthens basic scientific research and frontier technological research in the energy field to enhance its scientific and technological innovation capabilities. Through the implementation of key energy projects, the state advances independent innovation in key technologies and equipment, and speeds up the fostering of innovative personnel.
-- Deepening reform. The state gives full play to the role of the market mechanism, makes unified planning with due consideration for all concerned, addresses both root causes and symptoms of various problems, and expedites the reform in key fields and links to establish a framework of systems and mechanisms conducive to sustainable energy development.
-- Expanding international cooperation. China gives simultaneous consideration to both domestic and international energy development, works to increase the scope, channels and forms of international cooperation, enhances its capability to “introduce” and “go global,” propels the establishment of a new international energy order and promotes mutually beneficial cooperation.
-- Improving the people's livelihood. The state coordinates energy development in both urban and rural areas, enhances energy infrastructure and basic public services, and strives to eliminate energy poverty and improve civil energy-use conditions.
It is stipulated in the Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for National Economic and Social Development that by 2015 non-fossil energy will rise to 11.4 percent in the national total primary energy consumption, energy consumption per unit of GDP will drop by 16 percent from 2010, and CO2 emission per unit of GDP will decrease by 17 percent from 2010.
The Chinese government has made the commitment that by 2020 non-fossil energy will account for 15 percent of its total primary energy consumption, and CO2 emission per unit of GDP will be 40-45 percent lower than in 2005. As a responsible nation, China will make every effort to fulfill its commitment.
III. All-round Promotion of Energy Conservation
China is a country with a large population but relevant deficiency in resources. To attain sustainable use of energy resources and sustainable economic and social development, it must take the path of conserving energy.

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