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CHINA DATA: 2022 power demand growth eases to 3.6% in 2022 from 10.3% a year earlier


Slowest growth rate in 7 years, says China Electricity Council

Installed power generation capacity rises 7.8% on year

Renewable capacity growth strongly outpaces 0.9% rise in thermal

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China's power consumption rose 3.6% year on year to 8,637 TWh in 2022, National Energy Administration data released Jan. 18 showed, easing sharply from growth of 10.3% in 2021.

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The growth rate was the lowest in seven years since 2016, according to historical data from the China Electricity Council, an industry body.

Market participants attributed the slowdown to weaker economic growth and COVID-19 related curbs that capped energy consumption.

Power consumption in China's primary, secondary and tertiary industries was recorded at 114.6 TWh, 5,700.1 TWh and 1,485.9 TWh respectively in 2022, marking year-on-year increases of 10.4%, 1.2% and 4.4%, the NEA data showed.

Residential power consumption rose 13.8% to 1,336.6 TWh.

China defines primary industries as agriculture including farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery; secondary industries as mining and quarrying, manufacturing, production and supply of electricity, water and gas, and construction; and tertiary industries as the remaining sectors like services.

The country's installed power generation capacity rose 7.8% year on year to 2,564.1 GW at end December, the NEA data showed.

Thermal power capacity, which includes both coal and natural gas-fired power plants, rose 2.7% to 1,332.4 GW in the year.

Renewable energy capacity growth was much steeper with hydropower, solar power and wind power rising 5.8%, 28.1% and 11.2% respectively to 413.5 GW, 392.6 GW and 365.4 GW, while nuclear power capacity rose 4.3% to 55.5 GW.

China's total installed generation capacity of renewable energy now exceeds 1,200 GW and its hydropower, wind power, solar power, and biomass power generation capacity is ranked first in the world, the country's top economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission said at a press conference Jan. 18.

Power production rises

China's power generation rose 2.2% year on year to 8,388.6 TWh in 2022, separate data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Jan. 17 showed. The NBS data covers only large-scale power plants with annual revenue of Yuan 20 million, but accounts for most domestic power generation.

The country's power generation from thermal power sources, including coal and natural gas, edged up 0.9% to 5,853.1 TWh in 2022 and accounted for around 70% of the total in the NBS data. Renewable energy growth remained high aside from hydropower, which was constrained by a drought in southern provinces in the year.

Hydropower generation, which accounted for around 14.3% of total power production, rose 1% year on year to 1,202.0 TWh. Nuclear, wind and solar power generation rose 2.5%, 12.3% and 14.3% year on year to 417.8 TWh, 686.7 TWh, and 229.0 TWh respectively.

Total power generation in December rose 3% year on year to 757.9 TWh, with generation from thermal, hydro, nuclear, wind and solar at 554.9 TWh, 74.7 TWh, 39.7 TWh, 72.3 TWh and 16.2 TWh. This was up 1.3%, 3.6%, 6.6%, 15.4% and 3.2% year on year, respectively, the NBS data showed.