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China: Energy
Country Study > Chapter 7 > Industry > Supplies of Industrial Resources > Energy


Although China was the fourth-largest world producer of fuel in 1985, energy shortages remained a major obstacle to industrial growth. Energy waste was considerable; to offset this, some energy prices increased and penalties for waste went into force.

Coal was the primary energy source, accounting in 1985 for more than 70 percent of total fuel consumption. Proven reserves were more than 700 billion tons, and estimated reserves were 3,000 billion tons. Onshore and offshore oil reserves in 1985 were around 5.3 billion tons, mostly untapped. China had the world's seventhlargest electric power generating capacity, but output still fell far short of demand. Total natural gas output for 1985 was 12.7 billion cubic meters, with 15 billion cubic meters the target by 1990. Natural gas and oil received equal weight in the Seventh Five-Year Plan.

Data as of July 1987

Last Updated: July 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for China was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

China Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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