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Growth in power use proves China’s economic vitality

By Li Jie

Recently, China’s hospitality industry has witnessed rapid recovery and regions across the country are gearing up for higher industrial production.

This has led to a significant rise in power consumption. The manufacturing sector reported daily electricity consumption of 12.44 billion kWh, and 26 provinces’ power consumption achieved positive growth.

These figures indicate the stable recovery and growth of the Chinese economy.

Thanks to a tourism boom, power consumption in the commercial and tourism sectors increased obviously during the past May Day holiday.

Power consumption of commercial districts in Changsha, central China’s Hunan province, went up 13.27 percent year-on-year during the five-day holiday. In southwest China’s Guizhou province, electricity consumption of commercial buildings hit 147 million kWh, up 9.7 percent year-on-year.

Electricity consumption is a barometer and wind vane mirroring a country’s economic performance. Since this year, multiple regions in China have experienced an uplift in energy consumption following the gradually recovery of the consumption market and the rebounding production of industrial enterprises.

According to statistics, power consumption increased in 26 provincial-level regions across China in the first quarter this year. In particular, growth was over 10 percent in Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Qinghai province, Gansu province and Tibet autonomous region. Inner Mongolia autonomous region and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region reported growth of over 8 percent. The expanding demand for electricity exactly indicated accelerated economic recovery.

The volume of power consumption directly mirrors people’s work and life, and is a true indicator in observing economic activities, said Liu Xiangdong, deputy head of the Economics Research Department, China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Power consumption bounced back rapidly this year, which indicates expansion of economic activities and a continuous trend of economic recovery, Liu added.

The pickup of power consumption came from the improving production and consumption.

According to statistics released by the National Energy Administration, total power use in China rose 3.6 percent year-on-year in the first three months this year. In particular, electricity consumed in the secondary industry rose 4.4 percent, contributing 78 percent to the rise in power consumption.

In march, the daily power consumption in the manufacturing sector stood at 12.44 billion kWh, 950 million kWh more than that in the same period of 2022.

There has been a significant rise in the power consumption by high-tech and equipment manufacturing enterprises, which exceeded 10 percent in multiple provincial-level regions. For instance, power consumption in the manufacturing industry of Zhejiang province returned to nearly the highest level in history, and volume of electricity consumed by computer, telecommunications and other electronic equipment manufacturers in Ningxia Hui autonomous region surged 113 percent from a year ago.

In the January-March period, the power use of accommodation and catering industries rose 4.1 percent year-on-year, 7.1 percentage points higher than the growth in the fourth quarter of 2022. Thanks to the rapid development of the electric vehicle industry, the power use of the battery charging and swapping enterprises jumped 63 percent from a year ago.

As China restores the pace and order of work and life, all sectors are seeing an increasingly higher demand for electricity, which is the reflection of economic recovery, said Liu.

Many experts believe that the expanding demand and recovering economy are factors driving the surge in power use, and the expanding power consumption mirrors the confidence of market entities and the vitality of the economy.

Power use, while going up, has turned greener.

Statistics show that China’s renewable energy generation rose 11.4 percent year on year to 594.7 billion kWh in the first quarter this year. In particular, wind and photovoltaic power generation stood at 342.2 billion kWh, a year-on-year increase of 27.8 percent. New installed capacity of renewable energy reached 47.4 million kWh, surging 86.5 percent year on year and accounting for 80.3 percent of the total new capacity.

The expanding investment in the power industry has further strengthened the guarantee of power supply. In the first quarter, major power generation enterprises in China completed an investment of 126.4 billion yuan ($18.23 billion) in power supply projects, up 55.2 percent year on year. In particular, the investment in solar power generation projects surged by 177.6 percent, and that in nuclear power generation increased by 53.5 percent.

The recovery of macro economy this year will promote the growth of the consumption of power, said an executive of the China Electricity Council, adding that the growth in the consumption of power is expected to bounce back rapidly in the second quarter this year.

According to the estimates of the China Electricity Council, the total power use of China will hit 9.15 trillion kWh this year, with a yearly growth of around 6 percent.






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