China to cut coal use share below 56% in 2021

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A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in the city of Baotou, in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

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BEIJING, April 22 (Reuters) - China aims to cut its coal use to below 56% of energy consumption in 2021, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a statement on Thursday, but said the fuel would still play a vital role in ensuring the nation's energy security.

China, the world's biggest coal consumer, lowered the share of coal use in its primary energy mix to 56.8% in 2020, from around 68% at the beginning of the previous decade.

The NEA also plans to raise electricity use to 28% of end-use energy consumption in China, up from the 2020 goal of 27%, the document said.

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The production target for crude oil is set at 196 million tonnes in 2021 and for natural gas at 202.5 billion cubic metres. Installed non-fossil fuel power capacity is aimed at around 1,100 gigawatts (GW).

The NEA is seeking to raise its power generation from solar and wind plants to around 11% of the country's total power consumption in 2021. read more

The NEA also said it will continue to "moderately and rationally" push the launch of coal-fired power plants alongside China's major power transmission lines.

"China will enhance the role of coal as a bottom line supplier (in energy security)," said the NEA, adding it will accelerate the launch of big-sized coal mines and phase out small, outdated mines.

The NEA also vows to speed up construction of pumped storage projects and natural gas storage.

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Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Tom Hogue

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