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China continues energy reforms

Updated: Dec 30,2015 4:30 PM

Growth in the energy sector had sustained China’s overall growth during the past five years, and government officials said major supply-side reforms are on the way for the sector in the next half decade.

China’s energy sector is facing changes. From January to November this year, coal consumption dropped 8.2 percent. Officials admit there are clearly over capacities in the sector.

Officials say it is now a critical juncture to change China’s energy structure. The government will close down over 1000 outdated coal mines in 2016 and will halt approvals for any new coal mine projects for the next three years. On the other hand, the authority is promoting non-fossil fuel energies including wind, solar and nuclear power.

The government is also promoting other cleaner fossil fuels. Measures include enforcing a higher standard for gasoline and diesel, as well as promoting market reform for natural gas. Officials say these moves not only have economic significance, but also environmental benefits, as coal burning has been one of the main culprits behind China’s air pollution problem.