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
(see Electric and Nuclear Power
, this ch.).
Data as of July 1987