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. China To Rely More On Cleaner Energy Like Natural Gas By 2010

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by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 11, 2007
China, the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, aims to cut its reliance on the polluting energy source while shifting more to natural gas by 2010, state press reported Wednesday.

China plans to reduce the share of coal in energy consumption to 66.1 percent by 2010 from around 69 percent in 2005, the China Daily reported, citing a plan from the state economic planning body.

"Currently, coal accounts for 69 percent of China's primary energy consumption, 42 percentage points higher than the world's average level," said a plan posted on website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

It said the extensive use of coal had "brought lots of environmental and social problems, posing severe challenges to the sustainable development of the economy and society."

Meanwhile, the share of natural gas in energy consumption will be increased by 2.5 percentage points to 20.5 percent during the five years until 2010, it said.

China targets natural gas production of 92 billion cubic metres (3.22 trillion cubic feet) and crude oil production of 193 million tonnes in 2010, according to the five-year plan outlining energy development until 2010.

China will use new technologies and increase investment and accelerate offshore exploration to achieve the targets, the plan said, without elaborating.

It also said China will step up development of renewable energy such as nuclear energy and hydropower to encourage environmental protection.

China has a mixed record in changing its energy consumption habits, highlighted in a policy to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent and pollution by 10 percent by 2010 from levels in 2005.

But the project got off to a bad start, with Chinese officials admitting they came nowhere near reaching the target for 2006.

Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by just 1.23 percent last year, instead of four percent as planned.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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