China to See Slow Power Consumption Growth


China's electricity consumption growth will slow in 2012, as the world's second-largest economy is expected to decelerate this year amid uncertainty in Europe and other developed economies, according to a report by the China Electricity Council (CEC).

Total electricity consumption is expected to top 5.14 trillion kilowatt-hours (kwh) this year, with the growth rate slowing from 11.7 percent in 2011 to between 8.5 and 10.5 percent, the CEC said in an annual industrial report posted on its website.

The report said that the country is still facing tight power demand and supply this year with a total electricity shortage of 30 million and 40 million kilowatts, due to uncertainties in thermal coal supplies and reduced supplies of hydropower ahead of flood season.

According to the CEC report, China's electricity consumption rose 11.7 percent year-on-year to 4.69 trillion kwh in 2011, with 24 provincial-level power grids reporting electricity shortages.

The CEC projected China's installed power generating capacity to reach 1.14 billion kilowatts by the end of 2012, adding 85 million kilowatts of capacity.

The country needs to increase coal supplies to at least 300 million tonnes to account for an estimated 150-million-tonne increase in thermal coal demand, according to the CEC.

Last year, China's investment in the power sector totaled 739.3 billion yuan (117.11 billion U.S. dollars), according to the report.

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