China's coal demand will start to fall in 2025 once consumption at utilities and other industrial sectors reaches its peak, a state-owned think tank said in a new report, amid pressure on Beijing to impose tougher curbs on fossil fuels
The world's biggest coal consumer is expected to see total consumption fall 18 per cent from 2018 to 2035, and by 39 per cent from 2018 to 2050, the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute, run by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), forecast in a report on Thursday.
Cutting coal consumption and replacing it with cleaner energy like natural gas and renewables has been a key part of China's energy strategy, but it has continued to approve new mines and coal-fired power plants and support new projects overseas.
Though the share of coal in the country's total energy mix fell to 59 per cent last year from 68.5 per cent in 2012, overall consumption in 2018 rose 3 per cent from a year earlier, official data showed.
However, the CNPC researchers said they expected the total share of coal to drop to 40.5 per cent by 2035 as renewable, nuclear and natural gas capacity continues to increase rapidly.
"With coal demand in China falling gradually, world coal consumption is forecast to reach a peak within 10 years. "
Li Ruifeng, vice director of the China Energy Technology and Economics Research Institute, said coal would remain China's major fuel over the next 15 years, with smaller mines replaced by bigger and more efficient collieries in the west.
China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has promised to show "the highest possible ambition" when it renews its climate pledges next year, and its energy policies have come under increasing scrutiny ahead of a major United Nations climate change conference in New York in September.
Australian Associated Press