China's demand for coal is expected to peak by 2025, despite huge difficulties, in line with the government's "Dual Carbon" target, Feng Dongbin, deputy general manager of Fenwei Digital Information Technology, said at an industry summit on September 22.
China's arduous task from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in 30 years means significant change in energy production and consumption structure, Feng said at the Global Coal Market Summit in Guangzhou. The summit was held by Sxcoal, a coal industry portal operated by Fenwei.
China's President Xi Jinping had promised to reach carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.
While major economies, including the EU and the US, planned to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, they have 37-60 years' time to do so as they had already reached carbon peak, according to Feng.
Coal is the major source of carbon emission in China's energy sector, with coal-related sectors accounting for 68% of the total emissions, predominantly from power and steel industries, which respectively taking 47% and 19%.
In the years ahead, coal demand in China will be persistently constrained by the government's "Dual Carbon" and energy policies, as iron and steel, coke making, cement and energy- and carbon-intensive industries would face growing restrictions in terms of production capacity, production, industry threshold and technologies.
Specifically, the demand of thermal coal, mainly for power generation, will peak by around 2024 before entering the downside trajectory, Feng said.
The demand of coking coal, mainly used for steel making, peaks much earlier than that of thermal coal. Fenwei's data showed China's demand of washed coking coal has been on the decrease since 2021.
China's coking industry has planned to reach carbon peak before 2025, according to an action plan issued by China Coking Industry Association in August this year. Several large state-owned steel mills have already announced plans to peak carbon emissions by around 2023.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Harry Huo)
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