Industry insiders say 2018 has been a record year for the China's electricity market, with new highs predicted for total electricity consumption, the average amount generated each day, and year-on-year growth, all driven by China's upgrading economy.
"Electricity generation and consumption figures are among the best and most straightforward indicators for a society's economic quality," said Han Xiaoping, chief analyst with China Energy Net Consulting.
"Those increases just demonstrated that the Chinese economy is developing healthily and has strong internal growth impetus that outweighs the negative influence from the outside."
Although official statistics for December haven't yet been released, industry data point to a strong end to record-breaking first 11 months.
According to the National Energy Administration, from January to November in 2018 the country's total electricity consumption was 6.22 trillion kilowatt-hours, up 8.47% year on year. Growth was 2 percentage points faster than the same period in 2017.
For electricity generation, the NEA said China created a record 6.16 trillion KWh in the first 11 months of 2018, up 6.9% year on year. Average daily electricity generation was 18.47 billion KWh in 2018, up 8.52% year on year. The shortfall between power generated and demand was made up by imported power, and examples such as factories running their own generators.
In all, six regional power grids and 26 regional power grids saw higher peak loads in the past year, including in places such as North China, Southwest China, and Shandong and Henan provinces, according to a report by business news publication Economic Information Daily.
The utilization rate of power grids in the Northeast and the Northwest, and a group of provinces including Hunan, also hit record highs in December, the report said.
Demand jumped across all sectors ranging from agricultural, industrial and service industries, and reflected the increasing living standards of Chinese people in both urban and rural areas, said Han.
According to the NEA, electricity consumption in the primary industry was 0.67 trillion KWh in the first 11 months, up 10 % year on year.
In the industrial sector, consumption totaled 4.27 trillion KWh, up 7.1% year on year, and for the service sector, the numbers were respectively 0.99 trillion KWh and up 12.8% on the year.
Electricity consumption for household use was 0.90 trillion KWh, a year-on-year increase of 10.5%.
Han attributed the electricity consumption growth in people's daily lives mainly to rising incomes.
The higher energy consumption comes as residents, especially in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, turn their backs on coal heating for cleaner electric options.
(Writing by Tian Zhang Editing by Tammy Yang)
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