Speculation about the swings between power shortages and power gluts continued with reports from Hong Kong-based China Light & Power (CLP) that Mainland power supplies could exceed demand next year and up to 2007.
However, a leading government official said he expected power supply and demand to be back to something approaching a reasonable balance by 2006.
Zhao Xizheng, president of China's State Grid Corp, told the World Industrial and Commercial Organization summit in Beijing that the government's macroeconomic control measures for reducing investment into energy-intense industries would help restore a balance.
Zhao said preliminary estimates suggested consumption would reach the 3.092 trillion kilowatt-hour range by 2010, approximately a 6% annual increase on average.
State media had reported that demand for power this year would be in the 2.115 trillion to 2.173 trillion kWh range, up from 1. 9107 trillion kWh last year. Zhao said power demand would reach about 4.6 trillion kWh by 2020.
His comments contrasted with those of CLP Executive Director Stefan Robertson, who told a Singapore conference that with new plants coming on line China would see a power oversupply for the next three years. While China would add 30,000 megawatts of power supply a year, he said, demand growth would slow, resulting in excess capacity.
China has said it wants to double power generation capacity to about 900,000 mW by 2020 – from 400,000 mW now.
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