BEIJING, July 20 -- A Chinese energy official on Tuesday rejected a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) saying China surpassed the United States to become the world's biggest energy consumer last year.
"IEA's data on China's energy use is unreliable," Zhou Xian, an official with the National Energy Administration (NEA), said at a press conference.
According to the IEA, China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent in 2009, 0.4 percent more than United State's 2.17 billion tons.
However, China's National Bureau of Statistics said in a report in February that China's energy consumption last year stood at 3.1 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, which was equal to 2.132 billion tons of oil equivalent.
An NEA official who declined to be named told Xinhua at the sidelines of the press conference, the IEA and China's statistic authority collected data from different sources, which had led to the different results. He did not elaborate.
Zhou Xian noted the IAE still lacked understanding about China's relentless efforts to cut energy use and emissions, notably the country's aggressive expansion of new energy development.
He said China had outpaced the United States in new energy expansion, as it boasts the world's largest hydropower capacity, solar power water heating use, and nuclear power capacity under construction. It also has the world's fastest growth of wind power generation.