China's thermal power generation in December totaled 564.7 TWh, up 9.2% from a year earlier, with the rise expanding 2.6 percentage points compared with November, showed data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Compared with November, December's generation rose strikingly by 20.12%, the NBS data showed.
Twenty-six from 31 provinces with data saw thermal power generation increase year on year in December, and 30 provinces saw a month-on-month rise, especial Yunnan province with the largest rise of 93.33%, alongside a cliff-like decline in hydro generation in the slack month.
In December, a series of cold snaps and a strong comeback in industrial activity sent power consumption surging across the country. As hydropower generation was seasonally curbed while solar and wind generation takes a small share, thermal power soared significantly as the major force to cover the surging demand.
Full-year thermal power generation totaled 5,279.9 TWh. The surge in December helped expand the full-year annual rise to 1.2%, compared with 0.3% in January-November. It's noteworthy that the year-on-year growth of accumulated generation has kept negative ahead of October, suggesting China is still on the way towards decarbonization, yet only accidents like unexpected cold weather and post-Covid economic recovery temporarily dented the effort.
By end-2020, the nation's thermal power installed capacity totaled 1,245 GW. Excluding over 150 GW of natural gas, biomass and by-product heat, pressure & gas, coal-fired capacity totaled 1,095 GW, accounting for 49.8% of all kinds, falling below 50% for the first time in history, according to statistics released by the National Energy Administration (NEA).
In 2020, China added 71.67 GW of wind power, the most ever and nearly triple 2019's levels, NEA data showed. New solar power capacity also rebounded in 2020 to 48.2 GW after falling for two straight years, the data showed, beating an earlier industry estimate of 40 GW.
A total of 56.37 GW of new thermal power capacity was launched last year, the data showed, but most will be used as peaking plants to ensure energy security during peak demand periods. China's grid operators prioritize cleaner alternative sources of power on its gird connection.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Emma Yang)
For any questions, please contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org or +86-351-7219322.