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Main Industrial Development Issues and Challenges

Energy supply and usage concerns

Since 2000, economic growth has caused energy demand to increase by 10 percent per year. The resource requirements of industry and urbanization are the main barriers to environmentally sustainable development. Eleven major industrial sectors—coal, petroleum, refining, power, steel, non-ferrous metal, building materials, chemicals, light industry, textiles, and railways and transportation —consume about 80 percent of the energy in industry. China’s demand for oil is now about 40 percent dependent on imports and is expected to reach 500 million tons by 2010. Electricity use, particularly in urban areas for such purposes as air conditioning and refrigeration, exerts high stress on the state grid. Energy efficiency and renewable energy were emphasized in the 2003 Cleaner Production law, but despite recent measures, due to the prevalence of burning low quality coal and extensive overall consumption of energy, China’s greenhouse gas emissions are now the highest in the world.