China energy efficiency improved in 2016, reports Xinhua

World’s largest carbon polluter making progress on efficiency, but doubts remain over accuracy of state data

(Flickr/ Billy Wilson)

(Flickr/ Billy Wilson)

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China’s energy efficiency levels are on the up, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The amount of energy used to produce a unit of gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 5% in 2016, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

The share of low carbon power in the energy mix rose from 17.9% to 19.5%, said NBS, which counts natural gas and large hydro as “clean energy”.

The world’s top carbon polluter still sources over 64% of its power from coal – the world’s most carbon intensive fuel – but intends to cut this to 55% by 2020.

The government plans to invest $361 billion in clean energy by 2020, as China aims to supply 20% of power from non-fossil sources by 2030.

Still, analysts have previously cast doubt over the accuracy of China’s energy statistics, which are gleaned from hundreds of organisations that use differing methodologies.

“There’s a lot more transparency on emissions than before, but the side that is more sketchy is calculations for economic growth, and that’s worth scrutinising,” cautions Sam Geall, executive editor of ChinaDialogue.

Report: China reveals 2016 coal power crackdown

Read more on: China | Fossil Fuels