Power plant next to Madaokou Village from Water Crisis in China
Yesterday, the International Energy Agency reported that China was the world’s top energy consumer. Almost immediately, China has refuted those claims, arguing that their own statistics don’t paint the same picture.
All in all, they said they agreed that China was consuming way more energy than it used to, and that perhaps the energy efficiency wasn’t on the level of the U.S.’s, but the report didn’t emphasize enough China’s outpacing of the U.S. in “new energy expansion,” citing their hydropower, solar power, nuclear power and wind power generators currently under construction. The factoid about coal comprising almost two-thirds of China’s energy is noticeably absent, besides a reference that “the dependence on coal and oil will not be changed within the next two decades.”
In fact, the “well yes, but also” tone of the whole piece is fascinating within itself. Some of the best quotes from People’s Daily’s report on the piece below:
“The IEA’s data on China’s energy use is unreliable,” Zhou Xian, an official with the nation’s National Energy Administration (NEA), said at a press conference Tuesday. But Zhou conceded that the data could be used as a “reference.”…
- Hu Xiulian, a researcher at the Energy Research Institute with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told the Global Times that “The IEA data on China’s energy use is somehow not very accurate because the agency’s criteria for calculating the volume of energy use is different from that used by China.”
- Ding Yifan, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times that China will sooner or later become the biggest energy user in the world… “But there is no need for China to feel bad about it. Nor is it necessary for the world to be surprised. The energy growth is compliant with the economic expansion,” he said.
- Hu, the NDRC researcher, acknowledged that the country’s lower energy efficiency is one reason that contributes to the its whopping energy use, but she also argued that “China’s energy efficiency is higher than that of the US if we compare it within the same stage of development.”