China's GDP and energy demand decoupling: temporary or structural?

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Report summary

China is in a key phase of transition. In 2014, the relationship between GDP growth and energy demand growth diverged sharply. While GDP grew by 7.4%, power demand expanded by only 3.8% and diesel demand actually contracted for the first time in a decade. One of the most critical questions now facing global energy markets is whether this decoupling is temporary or structural?

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    China's GDP and energy demand decoupling: temporary or structural?

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Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • China’s GDP: the rise of the consumer
  • Power: a barometer of economic growth or a measure of structural change?
  • Coal demand: still king, but under pressure
  • Gas demand: cyclical factors playing a bigger role than structural changes
  • Oil demand: a tale of two products
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:


  • Disproportionate fall in China's energy demand
  • China's GDP rebalancing
  • Urban China population by region
  • China's geographical rebalancing
  • China power elasticity
  • China power demand by sector
  • Coastal China generation
  • China gas demand growth 2011-2014*
  • China 2014 diesel demand by sector
  • China GDP, gasoline and diesel demand growth

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