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China expects its peak power demand could rise by 12.1%, or by 140 gigawatts (GW), this winter, a spokesperson for the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Monday.
Generally, China is certain that its winter power supply is guaranteed, but shortages could occur in the Yunnan province and in Inner Mongolia, according to NEA spokesperson Zhang Xing, quoted by Reuters.
Previously, figures by the NEA have shown that the peak power demand in China was at 1,159 GW last winter.
This winter, peak demand is expected higher, due to increased consumption in the second half of the year, including a hotter than normal summer.
China will continue to provide high levels of coal volumes to ensure stability in power supply this winter, according to the official.
China is relying on coal to avoid blackouts as the economy reopened after the Covid lockdowns. During the first half of this year, coal production, coal imports, and coal-fired electricity generation surged and offset a significant decline in power output at China’s massive hydropower capacity due to insufficient rainfall and drought.
Chinese officials have also recently hinted that phasing out fossil fuels is unrealistic as oil, natural gas, and coal will continue to play a crucial role in global energy supply and energy security.
China is the world’s biggest consumer of coal and the largest importer of crude oil. Despite soaring renewable power capacity installations in recent years, China continues to consume growing volumes of coal, oil, and natural gas and continues to approve the construction of new coal-fired power capacity.
China is building or planning to build some 366 gigawatts (GW) in new coal generation capacity, accounting for some 68% of global planned new coal capacity as of 2022.
This is according to a report earlier this year by climate think tank Global Energy Monitor, which also found that China accounted for more than half of the new global coal generation capacity that came online last year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com