Saturday, July 01, 2017

China Energy Demand May Already Have Peaked:  Researchers

Smoke rises from chimneys and cooling towers of a refinery in Ningbo, Zhejiang province August 19, 2014. (Credit: Reuters/China Daily/File Photo) Click to Enlarge.
China's energy demand has reached peak levels and is set to fall in coming years, an influential government think tank said, in a study offering an optimistic view on Chinese efforts to combat climate change.

The study by the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) study said China's total energy consumption is expected to fall to the equivalent of 4 billion tonnes of standard coal in 2020, which would represent a decline of 8 percent from last year.

Consumption would then inch down to 3.74 billion tonnes in 2030 and 3 billion tonnes by 2050, the study said.

"(Peak demand) could be this year or next year - this is a gradual process and isn't just coming down suddenly from a very pronounced summit," said Qiang Liu, director of CASS's Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics.

The CASS study suggests Beijing is cutting coal use far faster than expected, and comes weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to quit the 195-nation Paris agreement on climate change and reaffirmed his commitment to revive U.S. fossil fuels.

It also indicates China could reach its pledge to bring climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by "around 2030" earlier than expected, given that the energy sector is estimated to account for 70-80 percent of its CO2 emissions.

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