The share of natural gas in China's energy mix will double to 12% by 2040, according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) report published in Kunming December 12.
"China's annual gas production will more than double to 340 billion cubic meters in 2040, with shale gas a major contributor, but consumption is foreseen to grow even faster, reaching 600 billion cubic meters," said the China Special Report of the World Energy Outlook 2017.
The report, launched in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, Yunnan Province, said that by 2040 China would be involved in about one-quarter of the global long-distance natural gas trade.
The rise of natural gas use is the result of the government promoting natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal. Overall energy demand is growing much slower than that during the early 2000s, the report noted.
In the first eight months of this year, China used 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 37.9% of which was imported, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
From January to August, gas output rose by 10.8% year on year, though consumption grew 17.8%, fueled by the coal-to-gas switch campaign that encourages residents to use clean energy for household heating, the commission said.
The IEA report forecast that the share of coal in energy mix will drop to 45% by 2040.
The share of coal in power generation will also decline from about two-thirds in 2016 to less than 40% by 2040, according to the report.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Harry Huo)
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