China's president calls for energy revolution

BEIJING, June 13 (Reuters) - China needs a revolution in the way it produces and consumes energy, as demand continues to rise and supply challenges mount, the country’s president Xi Jinping said in remarks published by the official Xinhua news agency on Friday.

“Although our country’s energy development has achieved great successes, we are facing challenges including huge demand pressures, supply restraints, serious environmental losses caused by the production and consumption of energy and technological backwardness,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

Xi told a meeting of Communist Party officials that China, already the world’s largest energy-consuming nation, needed to “restrain irrational energy consumption” and impose controls on overall energy use, Xinhua said.

China has already committed itself to controlling overall energy use and said in its 2011-2015 plan for the energy sector it would strive to keep total consumption to within 4 billion tonnes of coal equivalent by 2015.

However, the target was not mandatory and was still 23 percent higher than 2010.

The Chinese president also called for a revolution in supply that would involve the country diversifying into non-coal energy sources. Coal currently supplies around two thirds of China’s total primary energy demand, with the country striving to reduce that figure to less than 65 percent by the end of this year.

Xi also said China needed to strengthen cooperation with big oil and gas producing regions such as the Middle East, central Asia, America and Africa, and also boost its oil and gas storage and distribution capacity.

He also called for the acceleration of China’s nuclear reactor programme on the eastern coast. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by David Holmes)