China managed to maintain its energy consumption target of below 58 percent. Even though it managed to cut its coal use to 56.8 percent at the end of 2020, the overall consumption of coal keeps rising despite peak industrial production and construction of thousands of coal power plants.
The nation managed to stay under the target thanks to the increasing natural gas usage and growing popularity of renewables. China had reduced coal usage from about 68 percent a decade ago to 57.7 percent a year ago.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, coal consumption in the world’s largest coal user and greenhouse gas emitter increased by 0.6 percent last year, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth.
Last year, energy demand rose by 2.2 percent to 4.98 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent, with crude oil demand up 3.3 percent and natural gas demand up 7.2 percent.
China has committed to halting the rise in carbon emissions by 2030 by reducing energy consumption, especially coal-burning, and increasing energy efficiency.
According to the department, the amount of carbon China produced per unit of growth in the economy decreased by 1.0 percent last year.
On the other hand, Reuters reported estimates based on official data that this carbon intensity has decreased by 19.22% since 2015, exceeding the five-year goal of an 18% decrease.
However, China appears to have missed its target for reducing energy intensity for the period. According to Reuters estimates based on official data, it dropped by around 13.7 percent, well below the planned 15 percent.
In the second half of 2020, the world’s second-largest economy started to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of the year, the country had hit new crude steel and plate glass production peaks and processed a record amount of crude oil.
Nevertheless, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Coal 2020 report, global coal demand is projected to decrease by 5 percent in 2020. The report explores historical developments in the coal industry and predicts how they will play out over the next five years. If the pandemic’s economic recovery persists and policy measures remain unchanged, a forecasted turnaround in 2021 may be low, with no further rises in demand anticipated between 2021 and 2025.
Coal is still used to produce electricity in China, India, and other Asian countries, which account for roughly 75 percent of global coal demand.