NEA denies top energy user tag

09:15, July 21, 2010      

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China on Tuesday denied an International Energy Agency (IEA) report that the nation had surpassed the United States last year as the world's largest energy user.

Workers test a solar energy plant in Yanqing, Beijing. Liang Baohai / For China Daily

"The IEA's estimate of China's energy consumption is neither accurate nor credible. It can only be used as a reference," said Zhou Xi'an, director-general of the General Affairs Department of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

The IEA said China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent of energy from sources including coal, oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power and nuclear power in 2009, about 4 percent more than the United States, which consumed 2.17 billion tons of oil equivalent.

The National Bureau of Statistics had in February this year pegged China's energy consumption for 2009 at 3.1 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, equal to 2.132 billion tons of oil equivalent, said a Xinhua News Agency report.

Zhou said the IEA has a relatively high estimate of China's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. He said the agency did not fully understand the situation, especially the nation's efforts in energy saving, emission reductions and expansion of new energy development.

"China has already outpaced the US in new energy expansion, as the nation has the world's largest hydropower capacity, solar power use for water heating, nuclear power capacity under construction and the fastest growth in wind power generation," he said.

Experts have urged the IEA to base its estimates on the official figures released by the Chinese government.

"If the IEA data is calculated by using sources other than China's official figures, it must be wrong and meaningless," said Lin Boqiang, director of the Center for Energy Economic Research of China at Xiamen University.

Jiang Bing, director of Planning and Development Department of the NEA, said the nation is likely to spend around 5 trillion yuan in the next decade to develop cleaner sources of energy and reduce emissions from burning oil and coal.

According to Jiang, the NEA has already finished its 2011-20 plan for the renewable and clean energy industries. "We will submit the plan to the State Council for approval soon," Jiang said.

The NEA said the nation has invested 134.4 billion yuan for power supply construction in the first half of 2010, up 9.7 percent year-on-year.

China is also installing 23 nuclear power units with a combined power generating capacity of 25.4 million kW. This accounts for about 40 percent of the world's total nuclear power units under installation, and ranks first in terms of power capacity of nuclear power units under installation, the NEA said.

Source:China Daily


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