China power generation capacity up by 42 gw


China boosted its power generation capacity by 41.94 gigawatts in the first seven months. New generation capacity in the period included 5.26 gw of hydropower and 36.5 gw of coal-fired power.

Statistics from the China Electricity Council show generation capacity exceeded 500 gw by the end of last year after increasing by 66.02 gw for the whole year. China's electricity demand and supply would level out later this year with a sharp rise in capacity.

It is expected that 70 gw of new capacity will go into production this year. The report said China consumed 1.57 trillion kilowatt-hours in the first seven months, with heavy industry claiming the sharpest growth in demand.

Consumption by the primary sector rose by 6.61 percent from the same period of last year, while the secondary sector was up 13.84 percent, and the service sector up 10.7 percent, while domestic use was up 13.52 percent.

Industrial consumption rose by 13.86 percent, with light industry up 10.1 percent and heavy industry 14.8 percent. China generated over 1.52 trillion kw-hours in the period, up 12.1 percent from the same period of last year. Power supply from coal-fired generators rose by 12.5 percent, while hydropower was up 11.2 percent, and nuclear power down 0.4 percent.

China needed to adjust its power generation structure in order to be less dependent on coal. The government would accelerate the closures of small coal-fired units that produced heavy pollution, taking out a total 15 million kw in the next five years.

The power industry had developed at a double-digit growth rate over the past four years, higher than the growth pace of the country's GDP.  By the end of 2004, China's capacity was 442 million kw, or 51 million kw more than 2003.

An NDRC forecast estimates capacity to increase to nearly 800 million kilowatts in 2010, when supply and demand will be basically balanced, and the proportion of clean energy, such as nuclear power and hydropower, will account for 35 percent of the country's generated electricity.


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