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Country insight – China

China’s gas consumption rose by 15% – the largest annual percentage increase since 2012; China’s coal consumption grew by 0.5% after three consecutive year of decline

Fast facts

1    China accounted for 23.2% of global energy consumption and 33.6% of global energy consumption growth in 2017; China was the largest contributor to global growth for the 17th consecutive year


2    China’s gas consumption increased by 15% in 2017, accounting for 32.6% of global gas consumption net growth


3    The share of coal in China’s primary energy mix declined to 60.4% in 2017 from 62.0% in 2016 and 74% just 10 years ago

+3.1% – Growth in China energy consumption
Growth in China’s energy consumption
+15% – Growth in China gas consumption
Growth in China’s gas consumption
+76% – Growth in China solar power consumption
Growth in China’s solar power consumption
+1.6% – Growth in CO₂ emissions, half the 10-year average
Growth in CO2 emissions, half the 10-year average


  • China’s energy consumption grew by 3.1% in 2017, increasing from 1.2% in 2016, but still falling short of the 10-year average of 4.4%.
  • China remained the world’s largest energy consumer, accounting for 23.2% of global energy consumption and contributing 33.6% of global energy demand growth in 2017.
  • Among the fossil fuels, consumption growth was led by natural gas (+15%) and oil (+3.9%), while coal use rebounded (+0.5%) after three years of decline.
  • China’s energy mix continued to evolve. While coal remained the dominant fuel, its share of total energy consumption in 2017 (60.4%) was the lowest on record.
  • China’s renewables consumption grew by 31% in 2017, accounting for 36.0% of global renewables consumption growth. China’s renewables consumption accounted for 21.9% of the global total. 
  • Both coal (+3.6%) and gas (+8.5%) production increased in 2017, while oil production declined by 3.8%.
  • Oil production declined by 153 Kb/d to 3.8 Mb/d. The pace of decline was much smaller than that of last year (-310 Kb/d).
  • China’s oil import dependency ratio rose to 68% in 2017, the highest in its history.
  • Natural gas production increased by 11 Bcm (+8.5%) to 149 bcm.
  • Among non-fossil fuels, solar consumption grew the fastest (+76%), followed by biomass (+25%) and wind (+21 %). Hydro grew by 0.5%, the slowest pace since 2012.
  • China’s nuclear power generation increased by 17%, above the 10-year average growth of 15%. China accounted for all of the global nuclear power increment.
  • China’s CO2 emissions from energy use increased by 1.6% in 2017, half the 10-year average growth of 3.2%.