The consumption of coal inched up 1 percent year on year in 2018, much slower than the expansion of cleaner fuel and making up 59 percent of the country's total energy consumption, down 1.4 percentage points from the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
With abundant coal reserves, China for decades relied heavily on the cheap but dirty fuel until rising environmental awareness and quickening economic restructuring in recent years prompted a green drive in the energy sector.
The government has tightened regulations on coal mining, improved technology of cleaner use of the coal and vigorously searched for alternative fuel, moves that have made coal no longer hard to replace.
The combined proportion of natural gas, hydropower, nuclear energy and wind power rose to 22.1 percent in 2018, up by 1.3 percentage points from the 2017 level.
As a result, China's carbon dioxide emission per 10,000 yuan (nearly 1,500 U.S. dollars) of GDP declined 4 percent in 2018.