Key features in electricity and CO2: China

► China's electricity generation growth averaged 11.3% per annum over the decade to 2008, and a record 14.6% between 2002 and 2007. Total demand is projected to grow 12% in 2011 alone, to 4 700 TWh according to the China Electricity Council (Interfax, 2011 ).1

► Coal dominates, at 78.9% of generation in 2008. The next largest share is hydro (16.7%) with nuclear playing a minor role at present (2.0%). The contribution of oil and gas-based generation remains small (respectively 0.7% and 1.2% in 2008), while all other sources deliver only 0.5%. China has ambitious nuclear and renewable plans for the coming decade but these will displace coal only slowly.

► Electricity-related CO2 emissions rose 10.2% per annum in 1998-2008. While the shares of fossil-based and non-fossil-based generation remained relatively stable, the emissions intensity of coal generation has improved, leading to a decrease in overall electricity emissions intensity from 0.89 tCO^MWh in 1990 to 0.79 tCO2/MWh in 2008.

► Electricity use is dominated by industry (66.9% of demand in 2008). Industrial demand grew 18% per annum during the five years 2002 to 2007. While industrial demand growth slowed in 2008 due to the global recession, there was a strong increase in residential demand (+20.8% in 2008).

► Non-hydro renewables have grown quickly in percentage terms, triggered by government support policies. Investment in wind generation is accelerating rapidly, more than doubling in one year from 2007 to 2008, with an additional 7.4 TWh of generation. China reported 41.8 GW of installed wind capacity in 2010.

► China added an enormous 450 GW of coal capacity in the last decade, and 117 GW in renewables (86% hydro, 1 2% wind and 2% of others). According to Platts, 36 GW of nuclear are now under construction, with an additional 15 GW planned by 2025. China's goal is 86 GW of nuclear capacity by 2020 (China Daily, 2011 ).2

1. "China's power consumption to grow by 12 pct in 2011 - CEC". February 10,2011.

2. China Daily (2011): "Nuclear Power Sector Target 'too aggressive', says expert".


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