2016 China Total Energy Consumption

China released its 2016 total energy consumption report last week, with growth of 1.4% to 4.36 billion tons of standard coal in 2016. Compared to 2015’s 4.3 billion tons of standard coal in 2015, it was a not a big rise.

On February 17th, the National Energy Board issued its 2017 Energy Work Guidance, it said the 2017 total energy consumption will be controlled to 4.4 billion tons of standard coal. The guidance suggested the proportion of non fossil energy consumption will increase to 14.3% in 2017. The proportion of natural gas consumption increase to about 6.8% and the proportion of coal consumption should fall to around 60%. 2017 target of total energy production will be around 3.67 billion tons of standard coal.

The National Energy board said that in order to complete the task of resolving excess capacity, the 2017 annual effort is to close more than 500 coal mines with backward production and cut around 50 million tons capacity. By 2020, the total installed capacity of coal and electricity will be controlled to 1.1 billion kilowatts or less. In 2017 more than 4 million kilowatts of these backward coal fired units will be eliminated.

In 2016, coal production decreased due to the impact of supply side structural reform. Total coal production was around 3.41 billion tons. It dropped 9% compared to 2015. It was the third consecutive drop since 2013. The coal price had a big rise since July in 2016.


In 2016, China’s total electricity consumption was 5919.8 billion kwh. It was a growth of 5% YoY. Compared to the power consumption growth of 0.5%, it was a big rise for 2016. In the power consumption, primary industry electricity consumption was 107.5 billion kwh, an increase of 5.3%; secondary industry electricity 4210.8 billion kwh, an increase of 2.9%; tertiary industry electricity 7961 100 million kwh, an increase of 11.2%. Tertiary industry had a big rise compared to other industries.

China’s economy was majorly driven by the tertiary industry in 2016, based on these figures. Tertiary added value of the proportion was 51.6% for GDP growth,  with an increase of 1.4% compared to the previous year. We can see China is no longer relying on secondary industry to push the GDP growth.


Editor’s note: China’s ‘standard coal equivalent’ measure assumes coal has a calorific value of 7000kcal per ton. In reality Chinese thermal coal has a much lower calorific value, about 5000-5500kcal/t – meaning it takes more than 1.3 tons of coal to generate the energy of one standard coal equivalent.

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