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Use of fossil fuels to decline

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

09:17, February 10, 2012

Workers load coal at a railway station in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. China's consumption of fossil fuels such as coal and oil dropped slightly last year, while its production of clean energy increased.(China Daily Photo)

China aiming to raise output of clean energy, such as biomass, wind and solar

BEIJING - China's consumption of fossil fuels declined slightly in 2011, but the world's largest energy consumer still faces great challenges in optimizing its energy structure, said analysts.

Non-fossil fuels accounted for 9.4 percent of China's overall primary energy consumption in 2011, compared with 8.7 percent in 2010, said Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The figure means the country needs to increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the mix by 0.5 percent annually in the coming four years to realize a government target of 11.4 percent by 2015, he said.

"The country is facing great pressure to reach the target because the efforts to build the nation's nuclear capacity have slowed," said Li.

The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese publication, reported recently that the proportion of China's non-fossil fuel in the overall energy mix declined to about 8 percent in 2011. However, Li said these data were inaccurate.

But he admitted that the pace of energy use restructuring has been sluggish,as the use of coal-dominated fossil fuels continues to increase.

The newly added capacity for coal output reached 95 million tons in 2011, and the country plans to add another 200 million tons in 2012, according to the National Energy Conference in January.

The country is caught between the urgent need to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the desire to increase energy generation to sustain economic development.

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