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China’s energy production sloping upward

International reports revealed that the energy production in China grows by 45 percent while consumption increases by 41 percent between 2016 and 2040, much faster than the worldwide rise of 34 percent and 35 percent respectively. The experts mentioned in a report that China’s share in international energy demand grows from 23 percent during 2016 to 24 percent in 2040, while its growth shares is 27 percent to the global net increase. Different sources stated that China is the most populous country with 1.4 billion people. It has 6 cities with over 10 million people and an additional 13 urban centres greater than 5 million.

Energy Outlook– China
DetailsLevelShares (%)Change (abs.)Change (%)Change (annual) (%)
Primary energy consumption (units in mtone unless otherwise noted)
Oil† (Mb/d)12161917103436286.71.0
Gas (Bcf/d)20606131939>1000194>104.6
Renewables (including biofuels)8878431888696>1000789>109.5
Oil† (Mb/d)542062-51.9-0.2
Gas (Bcf/d)133412217731558.74.0

China’s mega cities have grown because of the mass migration of people from rural to urban life. Economists urged that the population shift has driven the stunning transformation of the Chinese economy. As people shifted to the cities, the country’s industrial output, productivity, wealth and energy demand all increased. International reports also mentioned that China’s energy mix continues to evolve with coal’s dominance falling from 62 percent in 2016 to 36 percent during 2040 and natural gas nearly doubling to 13 percent; renewables’ share grows from 3 percent during 2016 to 18 percent during 2040. Among fossil fuels demand expands for oil (+28 percent) and gas (+194 percent) while coal demand falls slightly (-18 percent). Renewables in power (+789 percent), nuclear (+574 percent) and hydro (+32 percent) also grow quickly. Coal demand peaked in 2013.


However, China remains the global largest consumer of coal throughout the outlook, accounting for 41 percent of worldwide coal demand in 2040. Energy production as a share of energy consumption grows from 80 percent in 2016 to 82 percent by 2040. Nuclear rises by 8 percent p.a. from 2016 to 2040, and China accounts for 36 percent of worldwide nuclear generation in 2040. China’s population is predicted to plateau, but with 40 percent of people still living in the countryside, the United Nations predicts the cities will increase for another 20 years. Because of the ongoing urbanization trend and low per-capita energy use ̶ the average Chinese person uses about 60 percent of the Japanese products – most analysts expect the Middle Kingdom’s energy consumption will keep rising for some time. The Chinese government is aggressively promoting electric cars with carrots (such as subsides for consumers) and sticks (fines for manufactures that miss their zero-emission vehicle quotas). It is said that last year 24 million new combustion engine cars hit the road, compared to almost 580,000 EVs.

Although the government has targets to ramp up sales in the future, at this point an electric car tipping point still seems a long way off. One difference between China and other states is the number of electric cars that are part of commercial fleets. One example is a ride hailing service called Caocao. Their fleet is supplied by EV manufacturer Geely, who is also an investor. It is also reported that in Shenzhen over half the taxis are electric and the expectation is that all of them will be in the next few years. The rapid grow of the electric bus fleet has been supported by government subsidies geared at enhancing local air quality. Although funding for these programs has been cut back presently, the fleets are still rising. China almost all the city buses could be electric. Nevertheless, oil demand in the bus segment is comparatively small. In total, including long distance haulers, this mode of transport only consumes in the range of 500,000 bbls/d of crude oil or 4 percent of China’s total demand.

International report also reported that by 2040 China is the second largest shale gas producer, after the US, growing to 22 Bcf/d by 2040. Oil import dependence grows from 63 percent in 2016 to 72 percent in 2040. Gas dependence grows from 34 percent to 43 percent in 2040. The statistics also show that with the economy growing by 115 percent from 2016 to 2040, China’s energy intensity falls by 34 percent. Carbon emissions from energy use peak in 2026. Renewables enlarge quickly, growing by 9.5 percent p.a. to 2040, and accounting for 31 percent of global renewables by then.

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