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Achievements in Moving Toward Clean and Low-carbon Energy

By Qiu Ping Source: Updated: 2023-07-19

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, China has staunchly supported the energy revolution, making historic achievements in the shift toward clean and low-carbon energy as well as solid progress in the high-quality development of energy sources.

We have continuously optimized the structure of energy consumption. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China's energy utilization efficiency has improved, with average annual energy consumption growth of approximately 3% supporting average annual national economic growth of approximately 6.5%. The main shift in the energy structure has been toward clean and low-carbon energy sources. As the proportion of the energy structure accounted for by clean energy sources has continued to rise, those of coal and other fossil fuels have declined. By the end of 2021, coal accounted for just 56% of total energy consumption, while clean energy consumption had reached 25.5%. The transformation toward low-carbon and energy-saving production has advanced, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the charging network have improved, and the proportion of electricity in end-use energy consumption has increased. There has been a sustained and rapid increase in new-energy vehicles, reaching 7.84 million. The number of charging points has exceeded 2.6 million, giving China the largest charging network in the world. The area of northern China heated using clean energy sources has reached approximately 15.6 billion m², or around 73.6% of the total.

China has boosted its ability to guarantee energy supplies. Already the world's largest energy producer, China has been improving its energy security. Its energy structure consists of coal, oil, gas, electricity, nuclear, new energy, and renewable energy, and its energy transmission network continues to improve. China has consolidated the foundations for guaranteeing its power supply, constantly expanded its installed capacity and power generation, and intensified renewable energy exploitation and utilization. As a result, by the end of 2021, China's crude oil production had rebounded for three consecutive years; natural gas production recorded annual increases above 10 billion m3 for five consecutive years; installed power capacity and power generation increased to 2.38 billion kilowatts and 8.4 trillion kilowatt-hours, respectively; installed capacity of renewable energy power generation exceeded 1 billion kilowatts; and the installed capacity of hydropower, wind power, and solar photovoltaic (PV) power each exceeded 300 million kilowatts, which is the highest in the world. Furthermore, it is currently accelerating the construction of large wind and solar power bases in deserts, and boasts the highest installed capacity of pumped storage hydropower in the world.

China has accelerated technological innovations and the cultivation of industries in the energy sector. China is leveraging the advantages of the new nationwide mobilization system for making key technological breakthroughs, and various concerned sectors of society are making concerted efforts to elevate energy technology innovation to a new level. The country is developing the world's largest clean coal system, with world-class levels of indicators such as air pollutant emissions. It has made breakthroughs in technologies such as deep-water drilling and shale gas exploration and development, which are helping to increase oil and gas output and reserves. China has advanced and demonstrated applications of innovations in the areas of nuclear power, renewable energy, clean and efficient utilization of coal, and gas turbines. It has continued to lead the way in key core technologies, such as ultrahigh voltage (UHV) power transmission, flexible direct current transmission, main power grid security, and grid-connected consumption of new energy sources. It has also connected to our power grid the world's first commercial nuclear power plant with a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor and made significant progress in the construction of the CAP1400 nuclear reactor. Furthermore, new energy formats, such as Internet Plus smart energy, are booming, becoming an area of competitive innovation in China.