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China vows all-out efforts to secure electricity supply for peak demand

Xinhua | July 27, 2023


China will spare no effort to ensure energy and power security in the event of strong demand for electricity as its economy recovers and heatwaves spread across the country this summer, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday.

The country will continue to strengthen energy supply, maximize the output of electricity from various sources, and enhance coordination between provinces to ensure the exchange of surplus and shortage, to achieve energy security, said Ou Hong, an official with the NDRC, at a press conference.

"We are confident and capable of ensuring stable energy and electricity supply during the peak summer demand," Ou added.

He said that China's daily electricity output and maximum power load both hit record highs as the economic rebound and persistent heat across the country drove up power demand.

The country's daily power generation logged a record high of over 30.17 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2023, 1.51 billion kWh higher than last year's peak. Meanwhile, the maximum power load also hit a record high of 1.339 billion kilowatts this year.

The world's second-largest economy also saw stable production and faster imports of coal since the beginning of the year. Currently, coal stockpiles of the country's power producers are at 198 million tonnes, 23 million tonnes more than a year ago, which is sufficient for nearly 26 days of consumption, according to the NDRC.

In terms of gas, both the production and imports of natural gas have maintained steady growth, Ou said.

Apparent consumption of natural gas reached 194.9 billion cubic meters in the first half of the year, representing a 6.7-percent increase from a year ago, Ou said, adding that the daily peak gas consumption for power generation has exceeded 250 million cubic meters this year.

Regarding the declining hydropower output, Guan Peng, another NDRC official, said that water flows in the major basins of the country's southwest region remained low, even after entering the flood season, causing a 22.9-percent decrease in hydropower output for the first half of the year compared to a year ago.

Guan also said that the country had taken multiple measures, including increasing water storage in advance and boosting coal-fired and new-energy power output, to promote electricity generation and fill potential gaps.