China's power consumption accelerates in March


China's power consumption rose 7 percent year-on-year to 416 billion kWh in March, accelerating 0.3 percentage points from the January-February period, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Saturday.

For the first quarter of this year, electricity consumption added only 6.8 percent from a year ago to 1.1655 trillion KWh, as shortened working days in January due to the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays cut industrial demand of energy, according to the NEA.

Compared with a year ago, the quarterly energy use growth was down 5.9 percentage points amid an economic slowdown.

From January to March, electricity consumption by primary industries dipped 3 percent year-on-year to 19 billion kWh, power used by secondary industries expanded by 4.5 percent to 838.5 billion kWh, while the tertiary industries consumed 139.8 billion kWh of electricity, up 13 percent year-on-year.

Also, residential electricity consumption increased 15.5 percent from a year earlier to 168.3 billion kWh.

The NEA data showed the country added 9.24 million kilowatts in new power generating capacity in the first quarter, including 1.27 million kilowatts in hydropower and 6.49 million kilowatts in thermal power.

Power consumption was a key indicator measuring the economic vitality in the world's second-largest economy.

China's gross domestic product growth slowed to 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, marking the slowest quarterly expansion since the second quarter of 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.

Earlier in January, Liu Tienan, head of the NEA, said China was facing a "grim situation" in energy saving and emission reduction and it was urgent to restructure the country's energy use and control the gross consumption volume this year.

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