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China to raise share of non-fossil fuels in total energy mix to 18.3% in 2023


Non-fossil fuels include wind, solar, hydro, nuclear

Non-fossil power capacity to reach 51.9% in 2023 vs 49.6% in 2022

Wind/solar power capacity likely to rise by 160 GW in 2023

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  • Aastha Agnihotri
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China expects to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total energy mix to 18.3% in 2023, up from 17.5% in 2022, as part of its energy transition push, the country's energy regulator said late-April 12.

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Specifically, the proportion of non-fossil based power generation capacity is expected to increase to about 51.9% of the total, the National Energy Administration said in a guidance.

China's non-fossil based power generation capacity -- which includes solar, wind, hydro and nuclear -- was about 1,270 GW at end-2022, accounting for 49.6% of the total installed capacity of 2,560 GW, according to China Electricity Council.

The NEA also said the proportion of wind and solar power alone is expected to reach 15.3% of total power consumption this year, while wind and solar PV installed capacity is likely to rise by about 160 GW in 2023. This is expected to be one of the largest annual additions of renewable energy capacity in a single country and will outpace the coal power capacity growth in China.

The NEA expects China's total installed power generation capacity to reach about 2,790 GW and total power generation volume to hit nearly 9,360 TWh in 2023, with the transmission capacity of the "West to East Power Transmission" reaching 310 GW, according to the guidance.

China's total installed power generation capacity was about 2,564 GW as of end-2022, a year-on-year increase of 7.8%, but it is still lower than the target of 2,600 GW planned by the NEA early last year, the NBS data showed.

China plans to increase total energy supply to 4.75 billion mt of standard coal equivalent in 2023, up from 4.41 billion mt of standard coal equivalent planned by the NEA in 2022.

The guidance laid out specific targets for China's energy sector for 2023 and serves as an important follow-up for the country's "14th Five-Year Plan", which aims to achieve an annual energy supply of 4.6 billion mt of standard coal equivalent by 2025, up from 4.08 billion mt of standard coal equivalent in 2020.

China's total energy consumption was 5.41 billion mt of standard coal equivalent in 2022, up 2.9% on the year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Energy security

In order to ensure the security of energy supply, China will continue to enhance oil and gas exploration and development efforts in 2023, which includes increasing crude oil production from the flagship Mahu, Fuman, Bayan and Bohai projects.

The country will also accelerate the construction of important natural gas production projects in northern Shaanxi, southern Sichuan, and Bozi-Dabei, the NEA said, without giving any specific targets.

China produced 204 million mt of crude and 217.8 Bcm of natural gas in 2022, up 2.9% and 6.4% on the year, respectively, the NBS data said.

China plans to promote energy-saving and carbon reduction at coal-fired power units, and accelerate peak-shaving power projects, with a new batch of coal-fired power projects starting operations this year.

In addition, China will prioritize the construction of underground gas storage, supplemented by coastal LNG storage tanks, including facilities like Shengping in Daqing, Tongluoxia and Huangcaoxia in Chongqing, Pingdingshan in Henan, and Huaian in Jiangsu.

The country will also improve energy transportation capacity, such as the construction of major pipeline network projects like the southern section of the China-Russia eastern natural gas pipeline, the middle section of the third West-East gas pipeline, the fourth West-East gas pipeline, the second Sichuan-East gas pipeline, and the Hulin-Changchun natural gas pipeline, the NEA said.