China's energy industry needs more reform to pull through the difficulties of the economic chill worldwide, said National Energy Administration (NEA) head Zhang Guobao on Wednesday.
"World financial crisis has brought a negative impact to China's economy, and the country's energy sector is no exception, "Zhang said during a speech at the national energy work conference.
He said Chinese enterprises face great difficulties amid a weak world demand. As a result, the energy industry also saw its demand greatly decreased.
Zhou Dadi, a researcher with the Energy Research Institute of National Development and Reform Commission echoed Zhang, saying slowed growth in energy-intensive industries, including steel and iron, would no doubt drag down energy consumption.
Official statistics show China consumed 2.74 billion tonnes of coal in 2008, up 4.5 percent over the same period last year. However, the growth rate was 1.6 percentage points less than that in 2007.
"However, China's energy industry can still expect vast development potential, because the huge population dictates a huge demand," said Zhang.
He noted that the government should make further efforts to raise energy utilization efficiency, reduce pollution and save energy.
According to the country's plan for 2009, efforts will go toward shutting down small coal plants, small coal mines and oil refinery plants responsible for high energy consumption and environmental pollution.
The country will also work toward developing a new energy industries including nuclear power, water resources power and wind power.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2009)