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Chinese coal supply and future production outlooks

Jianliang Wang, Lianyong Feng, Simon Davidsson and Mikael Höök

Energy, 2013, vol. 60, issue C, 204-214

Abstract: China's energy supply is dominated by coal, making projections of future coal production in China important. Recent forecasts suggest that Chinese coal production may reach a peak in 2010–2039 but with widely differing peak production levels. The estimated URR (ultimately recoverable resources) influence these projections significantly, however, widely different URR-values were used due to poor understanding of the various Chinese coal classification schemes. To mitigate these shortcomings, a comprehensive investigation of this system and an analysis of the historical evaluation of resources and reporting issues are performed. A more plausible URR is derived, which indicates that many analysts underestimate volumes available for exploitation. Projections based on the updated URR using a modified curve-fitting model indicate that Chinese coal production could peak as early as 2024 at a maximum annual production of 4.1 Gt. By considering other potential constraints, it can be concluded that peak coal in China appears inevitable and immediate. This event can be expected to have significant impact on the Chinese economy, energy strategies and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions reduction strategies.

Keywords: Chinese coal; Production modelling; Resource/reserve classification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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