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[BEIJING] China's total energy consumption rose 0.7 per cent in the first half of this year from the same period in 2014, the energy authority said on Monday, with a decline in coal use offset by increases in oil, natural gas and renewable power consumption.
The National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a notice posted on its website (www.nea.gov.cn) that energy consumption was likely to inch up further in the second half.
It did not give any absolute numbers for total primary energy use over the period. Total consumption in 2014 was estimated to have reached 3.6 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent, up just 0.3 per cent from 2013, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
China's energy consumption has tripled in just two decades but annual growth has now slowed considerably as a result of an economic downturn.
The impact has been felt disproportionately in the coal sector, which accounts for around two-thirds of total energy consumption but is now the primary target of the government's"war on pollution".
Coal production fell 5.8 per cent to 1.79 billion tonnes in the first six months of the year. Fixed asset investment in the coal sector plunged 12.8 per cent to 168.6 billion yuan ($27.15 billion), the NEA said.
Over the same period, crude oil output rose 2.1 per cent to 110 million tonnes while natural gas production - including coalbed methane and shale gas - rose 4.3 per cent to 67.4 billion cubic metres, the energy bureau said.
Total power generation was up 0.6 per cent, it said, largely as a result of higher renewable and nuclear volumes.
The share of non-fossil-fuel energy in total power generation reached 22.9 per cent, up 3 percentage points from the same period of 2014, the administration said.
The NEA forecast that total power use over 2015 was likely to reach 5.7 trillion kilowatt-hours, up around 3 per cent from last year.