Power shortages in China are expected to be greatly eased over
the remainder of 2006, according to a senior official with the
China Electricity Council (CEC) yesterday.
"Power supply and demand will be balanced nationwide in the next
half of the year although short-term power shortages will still
exist in a few regions," said CEC secretary-general Wang Yonggan at
a press conference in Beijing.
Power shortages existed in only four provinces in June compared
with 25 at the beginning of 2005 and nine in January. Wang said
power shortages had decreased remarkably in the first six months of
this year as new, large power stations came on stream.
In the first half of 2006 China saw newly installed power
capacity of 32.41 million kilowatts. Of that 11.1 percent was from
hydro power stations and 88.48 percent from thermal plants.
The nation generated 1.23 trillion kilowatt-hours of power
during the first six months of the year which was a year-on-year
increase of 12 percent, according to the CEC. Hydro accounts for
13.76 percent of electricity generated, thermal 83.93 percent and
nuclear 2.02 percent.
In the first half of the year China's total power consumption
reached 1.3 trillion kilowatt-hours which is an increase of 12.89
percent over the same period last year. Wang estimated China's
total power consumption in 2006 would increase by 12 percent over
The biggest power deficit would be 8 million kilowatts during
the summer peak with mainly the east, north and parts of south
China affected, Wang said.
He explained that China invested 75 billion yuan (US$9.2
billion) on construction and reformation of electricity networks in
the first six months of 2006 which had greatly improved the
country's power transport capacity.
Wang said the power industry must work to reduce energy
consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent in accordance with the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10). Consequently,
renewable and clean energies such as hydro and nuclear power would
enjoy priority in the country's long-term development strategy.
In the first six months China's standard coal consumption rate
in power generation dropped to 362 grams per kilowatt-hour which is
six grams less than the same period last year.
(China Daily August 1, 2006)