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SCIO press conference on China's economic performance in 2023

China.org.cn | January 26, 2024


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Recently, there have been media reports stating that China's total electricity consumption and power generation differed by 294.6 billion kilowatt-hours in the first 11 months of 2023. What are the reasons behind this data discrepancy? Thank you.

Kang Yi:

Thank you for your question. We have noted the discussions in the media regarding the data discrepancy between electricity consumption and power generation. Power generation and electricity consumption are two important indicators that reflect the operation of the power sector. The data discrepancy during the January-November period, as mentioned by the reporter, is primarily due to the distinct scopes of these two indicators. One represents the total electricity consumption across the country, while the other represents power generation from industrial enterprises above designated size. In addition to industrial enterprises above designated size, with the rapid development of solar and wind power, some small-scale industrial enterprises, residential buildings and commercial establishments also generate electricity. However, the electricity generated by these entities is not included in the power generation data of industrial enterprises above designated size during the January-November period.

To help you better understand, let me explain a little about these two indicators. They differ in terms of surveyed subjects, statistical standards and coverage. First, they have different statistical standards. Total electricity consumption is calculated from the perspective of electricity users, while power generation from industrial enterprises above designated size is calculated from the perspective of electricity suppliers. The scopes of these two statistics are different. Specifically, total electricity consumption represents the overall electricity usage, including both industrial and residential consumption, as well as self-consumption by power plants and line losses. On the other hand, the statistics for power generation from industrial enterprises above designated size only consider the electricity generated by industrial enterprises with annual main business revenue of at least 20 million yuan. Therefore, it does not include power generation from smaller industrial enterprises below this size, and does not represent the overall electricity generation across all sectors.

Second, the data discrepancy is partly due to the distributed generation of power. In recent years, China has seen rapid development in widely dispersed and relatively small-scale distributed solar and wind facilities, and a significant portion of them are distributed among residential properties, businesses and some industrial enterprises below designated size. These smaller power generation facilities do not meet the statistical standards for industrial enterprises above designated size, and some are even owned by businesses and residential properties, so they are not included in the monthly statistics of power generation from industrial enterprises above designated size. However, they will be included in the country's total power generation. As you know, our data is usually released in the middle of the following month. Therefore, the smaller-scale distributed power generation, scattered across various regions, will be included in the annual statistics, and the country's total power generation capacity will be released in the annual statistical reports. Generally speaking, power generation from industrial enterprises above designated size accounts for approximately 95% of the country's total electricity generation. There have been fluctuations recently. The country sees an increase in power generation from enterprises below designated size, while that from those above designated size is gradually decreasing. The decrease is not significant, and this proportion roughly represents the current situation. When talking about monthly power generation, it is essential not to overlook the mention of "industrial enterprises above designated size." Statistical indicators are rigorous, and it is important for users to pay attention to the meaning and scope of these indicators when utilizing them, thus enabling more accurate data usage. Thank you.

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