China’s Next Five Year Energy Plan Will Shape the Global Energy Future

China is projected to reduce the proportion of coal in its energy mix to below 58% by 2020. There are proposals to set a target of coal usage at 55% of China’s energy mix by 2030 for the 14th five year plan covering 2021-2025.

China expects greenhouse gas emissions to peak around 2025-2030.

China is the only country to implement coal conversion at scale. China turns coal into coke, fertilizer, and other chemicals.

China will be releasing a new energy plan. The 14th Five-Year Plan will cover 2021-25. The full plan will be released around March 2021, but partial drafts and releases will be public in 2020.

The Five Year Plan (FYP) is China’s top-level policy blueprint and has been called one of the most important documents on the planet for global sustainability.

China’s coal power capacity has been capped at 1,100 gigawatts (GW) by 2020. But utilization rates of installed capacity are less than 50%. China’s electricity demand is increasing. Coal usage can increase a lot just by increasing utilization. In March the China Electricity Council suggested that coal-power capacity should grow to 1,300 GW by 2030.

Hydropower and nuclear have been revived over the last year. Wind and solar expansion has slowed since the government started to cut subsidies last year and they are giving priority to solar and wind projects that do not need financial support.

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), released its 2050 outlook in late August, 2019.

China expects oil demand to increase by 2-3 million barrels per day by 2030. This would be about 16-17 million barrels per day. Oil and gas are still expected to account for a third, at most, of China’s primary energy mix.

The CNPC 2050 outlook sees electrical power demand in 2050 at 12.2 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh), lower than the 12.3 trillion kWh forecast last year. This would be about triple the amount of electricity used in the USA. Electrical demand has been flat for a number of years in the USA as increased efficiency has offset increased economic activity.

In 2019, Chinas electricity generating capacity was 7,142.2 billion kwh (7.14 trillion kWh) which was an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous year. China is increasing electricity usage by 220-300 billion kWh each year. This is on pace for 9500-10,000 billion kWh (9.5-10 trillion kWh).

China already was using more electricity than Europe and the USA combined. China should surpass twice the US level of electricity usage around 2024-2026.

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