January 20, 2015 / 3:35 AM / 4 years ago

China cuts energy intensity by 4.8 pct in 2014

BEIJING, Jan 20 (Reuters) - China beat a key energy efficiency target in 2014, cutting its energy intensity by 4.8 percent from a year earlier, the State Council said on Tuesday, as it tries to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The government had aimed for a 3.9 percent cut in energy intensity after a 3.7 percent drop in 2013 in order to meet its target of cutting energy intensity to 16 percent below 2010 levels by 2015.

Energy intensity is a measure of the amount of energy needed to increase GDP, and high levels of energy intensity indicate a high cost of converting energy into GDP.

China aims to lower the efficiency measure by relying less on energy-intensive manufacturing, mostly powered by coal, which is causing massive health problems and has made China the world’s biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

The drop in energy intensity came as China announced its GDP growth in 2014 fell to 7.4 percent, its lowest level since 1990.

Power output last year rose by 3.2 percent, the slowest growth rate since 1998.

According to the China Coal Industry Association, coal consumption in the first 11 months of 2014 fell 2.1 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

The National Energy Administration on Friday last week reported a drop in power sector investment last year, including a 21.5 percent decrease in hydro, 6.3 percent in thermal power and 13.8 percent in nuclear.

The National Development and Reform Commission said last month China over the past four years had cut outdated production capacity of 570 million tonnes of cement and 75 million tonnes of steel, in a campaign to shut down the nation’s dirtiest facilities. (Reporting by Stian Reklev and Kathy Chen; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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