Despite slowing economic activity and changing economic structure, China still maintains its role as the world’s largest energy consumer, producer and net importer
- China accounted for 23% of global energy consumption and 34% of net energy consumption growth.
- China became the world’s top generator of solar energy, overtaking both Germany and the US.
- China’s CO2 emissions from energy use declined by 0.1% in 2015, the first decline in emissions since 1998.
+1.5% Growth in China’s energy consumption
-1.5% Decline in China’s coal consumption
+69.7% Growth in China’s solar power production
- China’s energy consumption grew by 1.5% in 2015. This was less than one-third of the 10-year average growth rate of 5.3% and the slowest annual rate of growth since 1998.
- China remained the world’s largest energy consumer and accounted for 23% of global energy consumption and 34% of net global energy growth.
- Among the fossil fuels, consumption growth was led by oil (+6.3%), and by natural gas (+4.7%), while coal use declined (-1.5%). Oil growth was slightly above its 10-year average, while gas and coal growth was significantly below trend.
- China’s energy mix continues to evolve. While coal remains the dominant fuel, accounting for 64% of China’s energy consumption, this was the lowest share on record and down from recent highs of 74% in the mid-2000s.
- China overtook Germany and the US to become the world’s top generator of solar power, accounting for 16% of the world’s total.
- Coal production fell by 2%, compared to the 10-year average growth of 3.9%. This was the second fall in coal production in China since 1998. Production of other fossil fuels grew: natural gas by 4.8% and oil by 1.5%.
- Among non-fossil fuels solar grew the fastest (+69.7%), followed by nuclear (+28.9%) and wind (+15.8%). Hydro grew by 5% in 2015, the slowest pace since 2012.
- Renewables grew by 20.9% in 2015. Chinese renewables now account for 17% of the global total, up from 2% just 10 years ago.
- Nuclear power grew by 28.9%, more than doubling the 10-year average of 12.4%.
- China’s net oil imports increased by 9.6% to 7.4 mb/d, the highest in its history.
- China’s CO2 emissions from energy use declined by 0.1% in 2015. This was the first decline in emissions since 1998. It is well below the 10-year average of 4.2% and lower than the 2015 global growth rate of 0.1%.