China’s electricity consumption is set to rise 2% to 3% this year, despite the Covid-19 epidemic leading to a sharp drop in electricity use during the first quarter, an industry association says, reported Caixin.
Electricity consumption declined by 6.5% in the first three months of the year, equivalent to around 170 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) according to a Sunday report from the China Electricity Council. But as people return to work across the country, the association predicts power use will fall a narrower 1.5% to 2.5% year-on-year over the first half of 2020, and grow 2% to 3% for the full year.
The industry association called for China to postpone the planned cancellation of subsidies for onshore and offshore wind power by six months, to mid-2021 and mid-2022 respectively, as several state-owned power grid companies have lost money so far this year, including China’s top power utility State Grid Corp. of China.
Daily coal consumption by the six largest state-owned power generators, a figure often used to gauge economic activity, rose to 600,000 tons in late March, nearly equal to the same time last year, said Li Rong, analyst at Sinolink Securities.