From an average annual growth rate of about 6% in the past two years to a rapid growth rate of more than 15% in the first half of this year, China's natural gas consumption has achieved a gorgeous turn. Experts believe that with the increasing awareness of environmental protection, the continuous application of coal-to-gas and natural gas distributed utilization, China's natural gas consumption is accelerating into the broad blue ocean.
Natural gas consumption shows explosive growth
The growth of China's urban population will inevitably lead to the continued expansion of energy demand. In this context, natural gas as an efficient, low-carbon energy source will be a suitable choice to solve China's energy problems.
As a low-carbon energy source, compared with fossil energy sources such as coal and oil, natural gas is cleaner and more efficient; compared with renewable energy sources, natural gas is more stable in energy supply and its model is more mature. During the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" period, China's average annual growth rate of natural gas consumption was 12.4%. The natural gas industry has achieved leapfrog development, with its annual output jumping to the sixth place in the world, and its share in the primary energy consumption structure has increased from 3% to 6%. It is expected that by the end of the "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan" period, natural gas will account for 8.3% to 10% of the primary energy consumption structure.
However, in the past two years, China's natural gas consumer market has encountered ups and downs. Affected by the substitution effects of low oil prices and low coal prices, the growth rate of natural gas consumption in China fell to a ten-year low in 2015, an increase of 5.7% year-on-year, and an increase of 6.6% in 2016.
Since this year, China's natural gas consumption has experienced explosive growth. The newly released data of the National Development and Reform Commission show that in the first half of 2017, China's natural gas consumption was 114.6 billion cubic meters, a year-on-year increase of 15.2%.
The release of the policy has also created conditions for future use of natural gas. The website of the National Development and Reform Commission recently announced the "Opinions on Promoting the Utilization of Natural Gas", and proposed to accelerate the large-scale and efficient scientific use of natural gas in urban gas, industrial fuel, gas power generation, transportation and other fields.
The opinion is clear, and gradually cultivate natural gas as one of the main energy sources of China's modern clean energy system. By 2020, natural gas will account for about 10% of the primary energy consumption structure, and underground gas storage will form an effective working gas volume of 14.8 billion cubic meters. Meter.
At the same time, it will further promote the reform of the natural gas system, focus on breaking down the obstacles to the system and mechanism that affect the healthy development of the natural gas industry, and give play to the decisive role of the market in the allocation of natural gas resources. Orderly release competitive links, encourage all types of capital to enter the field of natural gas infrastructure construction and utilization, and accelerate the marketization of natural gas prices.
Focus on winter cleaning and heating, industrial and civilian "coal-to-gas", natural gas peak shaving power generation, natural gas distribution, and natural gas vehicles and ships. Attach importance to the coordination of the upstream, downstream, and downstream of the natural gas industry chain, and build coordinated development of the industrial chain from gas field development, international trade, receiving station transfers, pipeline transmission and distribution, gas storage peak shaving, and current and futures trading to terminal utilization, with market-based methods , Do a good job of supply and demand balance and peak shaving emergency. All links must strive to reduce costs, ensure end users get benefits, and enhance natural gas competitiveness.
"Coal to gas" effect gradually appeared
Experts believe that the rapid growth of China's natural gas consumption this year, on the one hand, benefited from the stable and better economic situation, on the other hand, it shows that the effect of "coal to gas" in various places is gradually showing.
Fu Shaohua, deputy general manager of Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Trading Center, said that the impact of economic growth on the overall natural gas supply and demand situation is the first. Since the beginning of this year, the steady recovery of the economy has driven the overall demand for gas. At the same time, the national coal-fire control policy came into effect, and the demand for power generation gas in some areas accelerated. In addition, the increasing awareness of social environmental protection has made the application of low-carbon and clean natural gas more widespread.
In order to speed up air pollution control, China has vigorously promoted coal-to-gas projects in recent years. "The gas-to-coal project is being rolled out across the country, and the projects that have already been implemented are working." Liu Yijun, a professor at China University of Petroleum, said that the coal-to-gas project requires a period of time from its implementation to its implementation. Driven by coal-to-gas demand, since this year, Hebei's natural gas demand has increased by more than 20% year-on-year.
Demand for natural gas has risen sharply, and sales companies feel apt. The eastern region of China has always been a high place for natural gas demand. The market area of PetroChina Natural Gas Sales Eastern Co., Ltd. covers five provinces and one city in Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai, Zhejiang and other places, with a market share of about 65.4%, and the annual sales volume of natural gas in PetroChina accounts for more than 1/4. In the first half of this year, the PetroChina Natural Gas Sales Eastern Company cumulatively sold 19.865 billion cubic meters of natural gas, a year-on-year increase of 20.4%, and completed the annual sales target of 56.3%.
Wang Duohong, deputy general manager of PetroChina Natural Gas Sales Eastern Company, said that since the beginning of this year, the company has actively cooperated with local governments to promote coal-to-gas projects and has actively promoted direct gas supply projects for large customers. In the first half of the year, the natural gas consumption of direct power plants in Jiangsu increased by 535 million cubic meters year-on-year, an increase of 62.6%; the natural gas consumption of thermal power plants increased by 606 million cubic meters, an increase of 39.3%.
At present, China's natural gas accounts for about 7% of the primary energy structure, which is far below the international average. According to the development goals, by 2020, natural gas will account for about 10% of the primary energy consumption structure, and by 2030, it will strive to increase to about 15%.
In recent years, China's energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies have continued to advance, and natural gas utilization efficiency has increased significantly. Relying on traditional methods, the comprehensive utilization rate of natural gas is only 35%. The distributed natural gas combined heat and power system used by Shanghai Disneyland and Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center can increase the comprehensive utilization efficiency of natural gas to 85.9% and 88.42%, respectively.
"With the emergence of various innovative application models, the spring of natural gas consumption has arrived." Wang Duohong said that application models such as coal-to-gas, natural gas power generation, and natural gas distributed cooling and heating combined power continue to deepen, which will promote China's natural gas consumption The market is further upgraded. The “five provinces and one city” within the company's market coverage proposed a natural gas development plan. The total natural gas consumption in 2020 will reach 111 billion cubic meters, an increase of 114% over 2016, showing that the future market prospects are very broad.
Establishing the direction of natural gas price reform
A new report released by the International Energy Agency predicts that in the next five years, 90% of global natural gas demand growth will come from developing countries, of which China will account for 40%. "At present, natural gas accounts for only about 7% of China's primary energy consumption, and in some places even less than 2% to 3%. Data show that China's natural gas market has a lot of space." Lin Boqiang, Dean of the China Energy Policy Research Institute of Xiamen University Means.
From an economic point of view, China's natural gas prices are still high. Yin Haitao, director of the Economics Department of Antai School of Management at Shanghai Jiaotong University, said that long-term stable growth in natural gas consumption still needs price signals to guide it. With the official launch of China's carbon emissions trading platform in the future, the environmental protection costs of coal and fuel oil will increase significantly, and clean natural gas will have a more market.
In the opinion of experts, promoting market-oriented reforms and stimulating market vitality are boosters for achieving the healthy development of China's natural gas industry.
Since August 2016, a series of policies related to the reform of natural gas market have been introduced, mainly around the two cores of price reform and mechanism reform. The "Opinions on Promoting the Utilization of Natural Gas" proposes that, by advancing pilot projects and demonstrations, we will support Chongqing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Hebei and other provinces and cities in order to carry out pilot reforms of natural gas mechanisms.
Compared with mechanism reform, the benefit chain of price reform is simpler and more urgent. In recent years, the market needs flexible pricing mechanisms, and some companies have begun to implement differentiated pricing based on supply and demand. The "Notice on Promoting the Market-oriented Reform of Fertilizer Gas Prices" has given the market decision-making position in the natural gas price mechanism. The document requires that the price of fertilizer gas be fully liberalized from November 10, 2016, and determined by the supply and demand parties through consultation. At the same time, encourage fertilizer gas to enter trading platforms such as oil and gas trading centers, and form prices through market transactions to achieve open and transparent prices. In this regard, industry experts said that comprehensively liberalizing the price of fertilizer gas is an important move in the reform of natural gas prices, which means a further step towards the goal of marketization.
PetroChina Natural Gas Sales Eastern Company is currently actively involved in the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Trading Center's trade, cultivating users' online trading habits, enhancing the company's influence in the trading market, and promoting the market-oriented trend of natural gas prices. The company plans to trade 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas at the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Trading Center throughout the year, and 3.303 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the first half of the year, with a completion ratio of more than 50%.