China made steady progress in its efforts to ensure energy supply and demand security during the first six months of this year, an industry official said.
Crude oil output in the nation rose to 95.39 million metric tons during the first half, up 0.8 percent year-on-year, said Li Fulong, head of the development and planning office of the National Energy Administration.
That marks a reversal of the downtrend seen in crude output during the past three years. At the same time, China has also been furthering its efforts to enhance fuel oil quality, and ensure that the supplies are sufficient, he said.
Natural gas output reached 86.41 billion cubic meters in the first half, up 10.3 percent on an annualized basis. The first six months also saw an industry upgrade in the coal sector. Medium-and large-sized modern coal mines have been asked to rationalize operations, while small coal mines with less than 300,000 tons of annual output have been shut down or optimized, Li said.
Electricity supply was stable during the period. The first six months saw newly added installed capacity of 40.74 million kilowatts, with nonfossil energy accounting for 58.4 percent. China has also been stepping up development of clean energy, and the proportion of non-fossil energy in electricity generation continued to rise, said Li.
By the end of June, non-fossil energy accounted for 37.2 percent of China's installed 6,000-kilowatts and larger generating units, up 1.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year. China has also established the world's largest network of charging facilities for new electric vehicles, with 1 million charging piles completing construction by June.
Han Xiaoping, chief researcher at energy analysis website China5e, said China's sufficient energy supply was boosted by increased investments in hydrocarbon exploration, or oil and gas exploration.
During the first half, investment in oil and gas exploration rose 34.1 percent year-on-year, 31.3 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
"A sufficient energy storage and supply are important to guarantee demand security and support economic development," Han said.
Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, noted that in line with China's increasing ability to ensure energy supply, domestic demand for energy has seen a decline, as some major energy consumers in the industry sector were influenced by geopolitical uncertainties.
Li from the National Energy Administration said that electricity consumption slowed during the first six months due to an industry upgrade, as many industry majors are on the fast track to high-quality development, switching from low-energy-efficient production to more sustainable methods.