China consumed about 4 percent less coal last year while renewable energy from solar power grew almost three-quarters, underscoring President Xi Jinping’s drive to reduce pollution and cut industrial overcapacity.
Overall fossil fuel use for electricity grew 7.8 percent in 2015 with installed coal, gas and oil capacity of about 990 gigawatts, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Solar capacity grew about 74 percent to 43 gigawatts. Wind rose 34 percent to 129 gigawatts, the bureau said.
While coal still accounted for 64 percent of the country’s total energy use, lower carbon-emitting energies, including nuclear, renewable energy and natural gas, gained ground and accounted for 18 percent of the energy mix, the bureau said. Hydropower, China’s second-biggest energy source, increased 5 percent with installed capacity rising to 319 gigawatts. Nuclear power grew 30 percent to more than 26 gigawatts.