China’s Q4 power consumption expected to rise 6%

Mysteel Global, October 29, 2020

China’s power consumption in the fourth quarter is expected to increase 6% on a year-on-year basis, a higher speed extending from the 5.8% rise in the third quarter, said China Electricity Council (CEC) in a recent forecast, based on the macro-economy situation at home and aboard, weather and energy switch.

The council estimated a general balance between power supply and demand across the nation, but sporadic tightness could be seen at some regions.

It highlighted the northeast region, namely three provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin, saying local governments will face pressure over the lengthy winter heating period.

The La Nina climate pattern may lead to an extreme cold winter for North China, which would further drive up demand for electricity and heat, it said, citing a meteorological forecast.

China’s strong post-pandemic economic recovery will further stimulate the demand for electricity, CEC said. The third quarter saw China’s GDP grew 5%, making China the only country with positive growth among major economies across the world.

The trend is expected to extend in the fourth quarter at a time when the rest world is still dealing with the COVID-19. October’s manufacturing PMI hit a 10-year high of 53.6, partly reflecting the country’s economic strength.

In the first quarters, China’s power consumption totaled 5,410 TWh, a 1.3% rise from the same period last year. After a drop of 6.5% in the first quarter on a year-on-year basis, the second and third quarters respectively saw a rise of 3.9% and 5.8%, the CEC said.

Based on the 6%-growth projected for the fourth quarter, power consumption is expected to increase 2-3% all over the year.

The CEC also expected a total 140 GW of power production capacity to be added in 2020, including about 93 GW of non-fossil energy. By the end of 2020, China’s installed capacity is expected to reach 2,140 GW, a 6.3% rise on the year, including 930 GW of non-fossil capacity.