Economic Watch: Power data sheds light on China's economic stamina

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-02 13:33:40|Editor: huaxia
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BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- China's electricity consumption data in the January-September period pointed to strong economic resilience and potential underpinning increasingly high-quality growth.

Among other things, the country's high-tech sectors kept devouring electricity, the environment sector quickly expanded its energy footprint, and vast central and western regions continued to lead the whole country in power consumption growth, according to the China Electricity Council (CEC), a non-profit industry association.


China's tertiary industry used 899.4 billion kWh of electricity in the first three quarters, with a growth rate almost twice of that in the total electricity consumption, according to CEC data.

Sectors including Internet data service, and software and IT service led the growth. Their power consumption surged 38.5 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

A similar rally was found in China's high-tech manufacturing. From January to September, the power used to manufacture new energy vehicles and urban rail equipment was up over 10 percent year on year.

Energy consumption in high-tech manufacturing sectors continued to show faster growth, indicating growing momentum in China's economic structure adjustment and industrial upgrading, said CEC official Ye Chun.


Another notable trend shown by the CEC data was mounting electricity usage in environmental protection enterprises and a drop in energy-intensive ones. For instance, power consumption in the resource recycling sector went up 15.5 percent year on year in the first three quarters.

Change in power consumption also shows the greater role of renewable energy. CEC data showed that electricity used to make photovoltaic equipment and wind turbines surged by 25.7 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively. This would translate into more power generators, hence more renewable energy in the pipeline.

The wax and wane of electricity usage corresponded to China's efforts to shift away from smokestack industries, said experts.

Efforts in replacing coal and gasoline with electricity contributed to stellar growth in power intake by port shore power systems and electric vehicle charging services, which skyrocketed by 137 percent and 143 percent year on year, respectively, in the first nine months.


China's consumption base was further expanded from January to September as the country's vast central and western regions continued to narrow their power usage gap with more affluent coastal areas.

Data showed that regions including Inner Mongolia, Guangxi and Tibet continued to lead energy use with double-digit growth.

Rural areas are also catching up, as residential power consumption outpaced that in urban areas with a year-on-year growth of 6.45 percent, the first time in decades.

In the first three quarters, rural areas in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hunan registered the fastest growth with residential power use growing 24.4 percent, 17.1 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, data from the State Grid Corporation of China showed.

Although the country's economic growth cooled down to 6 percent in the third quarter, the figure remained the highest among all the major economies, said Yuan Da, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission.

It is acceptable whether the figure is lower or higher as long as employment and people's incomes are expanding, as well as the ecological environment and development quality are improving, he added.