International - POSTED: 2007/04/05 02:56
China will not follow the U.S. energy consumption model because energy resources are limited, said Xu Dingming, vice director of the Office of the National Energy Leading Group.
Xu made the remark at an MIT Energy Forum in Shanghai on Tuesday. He said if Chinese people consumed energy like their U.S. counterparts, China would need 4.5 billion tons of oil per year. However, the annual global oil supply is just four billion tons with only 1.6 billion tons in commercial circulation.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese citizens owned nearly 30 million private cars at the end of last year.
With annual oil consumption of two tons per vehicle and a 20 percent growth in car numbers per year, the transportation sector could become a large energy consumer in the future, warned the official.
Xu pointed out that westerners account for only 15 percent of the world's population but used the lion's share of the world's energy to power their industrial processes.
Reproducible energies are strongly recommended by experts and conservationists. China plans to raise the proportion of reproducible energies in its total energy consumption to 16 percent by 2020.