The Energy System of China

Updated January 2024.

Global Carbon Ranking

► World’s largest CO2 emitter1.
► World’s largest coal producer2.
► Record coal production in 20223.

China is approving new coal power projects at the equivalent of two plants every week.

https://www.worldenergydata.org/china-continues-coal-spree-despite-climate-goals/

Fossil Fuel Production

Chart 1. China annual fossil fuel production. The time period of the charts differ due to different time periods of the available data. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234 5.

Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) Emissions

Chart 2. China annual fossil fuel CO₂ emissions. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.

Total (Primary) Energy Supply

By Share

Total Energy Supply (also known as ‘Primary energy’) accounts for energy supplied prior to conversions to electricity or hydrogen (see the introduction for explanation).

Chart 3. China total (primary) energy by share in 2022. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.
Chart 4. China primary energy by annual share of category (left) and fuel (right). Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.

Absolute Quantities

Chart 5. Absolute values of China annual primary energy by category. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.
Chart 6. Absolute values of China annual primary energy by fuel. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.
Chart 7. Annual change of China primary energy by category. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234. Values shown at the top of columns is annual change, rounded, in units of exajoules per year.
Chart 8. Annual change of China primary energy by fuel. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.

Carbon Intensity

Chart 9. Annual carbon intensity of China primary energy. Data: Calculated using Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.

Energy Consumption (i.e. Final Energy)

Final energy accounts the consumption of energy in final forms, and therefore can account for electricity separately from heat (e.g energy consumed for steel manufacture, or by transport). Unlike primary energy, final energy does not rely on calculating equivalences for non-combustible fuels such as solar and wind (see the introduction for explanation).

Chart 10. China energy consumption (i.e final energy) by share. Data: IEA(2023)6.
Total of displayed shares will not equal 100% because, for clarity, values are rounded and segments <3% share are not shown.
The height of each column is the total annual energy consumption relative to 1990.
The Heat share refers to consumed heat produced by combined heat and power plants, and chemical reactions etc.

Electricity

By Share

Chart 11. China electricity generation by share in 2022. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.
Chart 12. China electricity generation by annual share of category (left), and fuel (right). Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.

Absolute Quantities

Chart 13. Annual China electricity generation, by category. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234. For clarity, categories ‘Geo, Biomass and Other renewables’ and ‘Other’ are not shown.
Chart 14. Annual China electricity generation, by fuel. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234.
Chart 15. Annual change of China electricity generation, by category. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234. For clarity, categories ‘Geo, Biomass and Other renewables’ and ‘Other’ are not shown. Annual changes are shown at the top of each column, values rounded.
Chart 16. Annual change of China electricity generation, by fuel. Data: Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy 20234. For clarity, categories ‘Geo, Biomass and Other renewables’ and ‘Other’ are not shown.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.energyinst.org/statistical-review/about, 31% share in year 2022.()
  2. https://www.worldenergydata.org/world-fossil-fuel-production-and-primary-energy/, 52% share in year 2022.()
  3. https://www.worldenergydata.org/world-fossil-fuel-production-and-primary-energy/()
  4. https://www.energyinst.org/statistical-review/about()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()
  5. Sheets used from the data were: 1. ‘Coal Production – Tonnes’. 2. ‘Oil Production – Barrels’. Annual figure calculated. 3. ‘Gas Production – Bcm’.()
  6. https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-tools/energy-statistics-data-browser?country=CHINAREG&energy=Balances&year=2021()